A federal indictment unsealed recently outlines charges against six men who allegedly conspired to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine from Philadelphia to Lycoming and Tioga counties.
Charged in the conspiracy by the U.S. Middle District Attorney Peter J. Smith with allegedly selling drugs to area users were: City residents Malik S. Hannibal, 29, also known on the street as "Snow," and Arnell A. Monroe, 32, "Jigga" and "Andrew Duckett," and Philadelphia residents Lamont Chyanne Blount, 21, "Mont," Joey Lehigh Elmore, 24, "Yolo," Derrick Malik Savage, 20, "Maybach," and Zuriel Ahki Love, 18, "Poppy."
Identified as the "Tat-Gang," the men allegedly sold heroin, crack and cocaine in Williamsport using social media sites to maintain contact and share information about their activities with each other and with other individuals, Smith said.
Each has been charged in an 11-count indictment. A grand jury in Harrisburg found that since November 2012, the gang conspired to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.
To carry out the conspiracy, the gang allegedly traveled by vehicles to and from various places in Lycoming and Tioga counties to get and deliver the drugs, according to Smith. They allegedly traveled in several vehicles to Philadelphia to buy drugs that they brought back to two local houses - 910 Wayne Ave. and 2135 W. Third St., Smith said.
The men then allegedly distributed the drugs to users and sellers in Lycoming and Tioga counties, Smith said.
The indictment also alleges the gang bought, sold and traded and possessed firearms in exchange for cash and drugs as part of the conspriacy.
Philadelphia police officers arrested Blount on Jan. 15. State police arrested Savage Jan. 16 on Interstate 80, near the Interstate 81 exit.
Savage was among the final members of the gang to be apprehended. He appeared Friday before U.S. Middle District Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle III for a detention hearing.
At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Rocktashel showed the judge examples of Savage's contempt for justice and police, including a picture of Savage displaying a handgun on a social media site.
Federal Public Defender D. Toni Byrd attempted to have Arbuckle grant Savage home detention at his parents' house in Philadelphia. She argued he could be put on electronic monitoring.
Arbuckle said the past criminal record of Savage, including pending cases in Lycoming County involving drugs, was reason not to allow home confinement regarding bail and he ordered him to be detained.
The FBI and city police arrested Hannibal, Monroe and Elmore shortly after the indictment Nov. 20 and Love Dec. 20. All six have been detained, according to Smith. If convicted of the conspiracy and drug distribution offenses, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment, a maximum fine of $5 million and supervised release for at least four years, he said.