2 returned here in mail drug case

Two more men who state police said were part of an elaborate scheme of receiving large quantities of marijuana through the mail from the West Coast and selling the drug on the streets were brought back here this week to face charges.

Ross Sebastian Weaver, a 23-year-old former Pennsylvania College of Technology student who was described in court papers as “a long-time marijuana distributor,” was returned here from Glendale, Ariz., along with his roommate, Dustin James Runyon, 24.

Weaver, formerly of the 2300 block of Hillside Avenue and the 900 block of Arch Street, “received marijuana from California, and was assisted in his Williamsport-area distribution” by several men, including Runyon, police alleged in an affidavit.

More than a half a dozen people, most of them former Penn College students, took part in a drug operation that resulted in the selling of more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana in Lycoming and Montour counties during a five-year period, police said.

Weaver and Runyon are alleged to have worked in the drug ring from the summer of 2010 to the summer 2012, court papers state. The two were arrested late last month in Arizona and waived extradition.

Eight local people were rounded up on Jan. 29 and charged with various drug offenses ranging from being part of a corrupt organization to possession of marijuana. All eight face further court action after waiving their preliminary hearings before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman.

Weaver faces eight criminal counts, including two counts each of corrupt organization and possession with intent to deliver marijuana, one count of delivery of marijuana and three counts of conspiracy. Following his arraignment Monday before Whiteman, he was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Runyon, formerly of the 1000 block of Broad Street in Montoursville, faces seven charges, including two counts of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, one count each of delivery of marijuana and illegal use of a cellphone and three counts of conspiracy. He was locked up in lieu of $350,000 bail.

One of the major players in the marijuana distribution ring is former Penn College student Jeffery Kirkland, nicknamed “Bird,” police said. The 24-year-old allegedly sold marijuana in Williamsport in 2010 and 2011 before moving to Oregon, from where he “began sending marijuana through the mail to Williamsport-area sellers,” police said.

Awaiting extradition, he remains in custody in Nebraska.

Another alleged participant, 29-year-old Todd Casey, is in custody in Colorado and is expected to be returned here in a matter of days. An arrest warrant remains for only one other person allegedly involved in the distribution ring. That person still is at large.