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Alleged New York City drug dealer jailed here in sex-for-drugs case

February 21, 2008
By PHILIP A. HOLMES pholmes@sungazette.com
The 36-year-old woman wanted to support her crack cocaine habit, and her alleged New York City drug supplier wanted to have sex with one of her female relatives.

So the Hepburn Township woman, Kerri E. Santarlasci, permitted the drug dealer, Jamal Brown, to move in with her and allowed him to engage in sexual relations with a family member, Old Lycoming Township investigators allege.

“It’s as ugly as it sounds,” township Police Chief William Solomon said Wednesday, shortly after Brown, 29, was returned here from New York City to face charges of rape and related offenses.

During the arrangement, which lasted between last March and May, Brown allegedly got the relative hooked again to crack cocaine, an addition she admitted in court in June to having before she met Brown.

Santarlasci of 394 Route 973 West was arrested in early June after her relative went to police headquarters to report that she had been exploited to support a drug addiction.

While Santarlasci remains jailed in the Lycoming County Prison, Brown eluded authorities here for several months because investigators did not have his true identity, said Det. Cpl. Christopher Kriner, the lead investigator in the case.

“For several months, we only knew Brown through his street name which is ‘Jay Black.’ We worked with numerous county, state and federal agencies, as well as confidential informants, to determine his real name,” Kriner said.

Until two weeks ago, investigators were unaware that Brown had been behind bars in a New York state prison on a parole violation since November.

“Mr. Brown is from Brooklyn, N.Y. He came down here basically to sell drugs. He met up with (Santarlasci), moved in with her, and he allegedly began having sex with (a family member). This happened several times,” Kriner said.

“We’re certainly unhappy about this kind of stuff happening in our area,” Kriner said.

“Both (Santarlasci) and (the family member) were addicted to crack cocaine, and he was the supplier,” Kriner added.

At Santarlasci’s preliminary hearing in June, the family member testified that she resented the fact that she could only get crack cocaine from Brown by having sex with him while Santarlasci sometimes freely received crack because she allegedly sold it for him.

On the stand, the family member said she engaged in sexual relations with the drug dealer “over 20 times.”

Since Santarlasci’s arrest, the family member has been under the care of other relatives, Kriner said.

Investigators went to the maximum security Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., to pick up Brown, who was arraigned on felony charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, delivery of crack cocaine, possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and a misdemeanor charge of corrupting the morals of a minor.

During the proceedings before District Judge James H. Sortman, Brown said he did electrical work in construction “off the books.” Brown said he was on parole until 2019 following two drug convictions in New York.

He joined Santarlasci at the county prison, where he was committed in lieu of $120,000 bail.

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