Large scale heroin trafficking ring busted in Franklin County

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CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – A months long investigation by Pennsylvania State Police in conjunction with the Franklin County Drug Task Force into the activities of a large scale heroin trafficking ring has led to half a dozen arrests.  Investigators identified the alleged drug ring as the Charles Lynch Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO). Others in the ring were indentified as Susan Hoillabaugh, Kevin Paul, Kellyy Paul, Richard Danzberger and Brandi Bechtel. Police were also able to link the organization to the death of Mark Charles Keefer, who overdosed on heroin and died on November 5, 2016.

Authorities say Charles Lynch and his girlfriend Susan Hollabaugh would make weekly trips to the Philadelphia area to purchase significant quantities of heroin with an average street value of $20,000 to bring back to Franklin County. These purchases were made using proceeds traceable to heroin sales within Franklin County. The purchased heroin would be stored in a safe located within the joint residence of Lynch and Hollabaugh in Fayetteville. Lynch and Hollabaugh would then “front” heroin to Richard Danzberger and Kevin Paul who would in turn distribute the heroin to users and other sellers operating within the Franklin County area. Danzberger and Paul were paid in cash, heroin, or sometimes a combination of the two. The proceeds from the sales of heroin would eventually flow back to Lynch and Hollabaugh. Once sufficient funds were accumulated, Lynch and Hollabaugh would make their trip to Philadelphia to purchase additional quantities.

In mid-November of 2016, the operating procedures for the Lynch DTO changed as a result of Lynch being arrested in Ohio for Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin and Danzberger also being arrested in Franklin County also for Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin. Utilizing the inmate phones at the Franklin County Jail, Lynch continued to direct the operation of the organization. Specifically, he directed Hollabaugh to continue the weekly trips to Philadelphia to make bulk purchases of heroin. Lynch further directed Hollabaugh to move two safes from their current residence to the residence of Kevin and Kelly Paul at 2250 Lincoln Way East, Fayetteville. Kevin Paul at this time assumed the role of driving Hollabaugh to Philadelphia in place of Lynch. Paul also became the primary drug dealer utilized by the organization. When Kevin Paul was not at the residence, Kelly Paul would sell the heroin provided by Hollabaugh. Under the new structure, Hollabaugh would stop by Kevin and Kelly Paul’s residence daily to collect money and provide additional heroin to Kevin Paul to sell. Kevin and Kelly Paul were paid in cash, heroin, or sometimes a combination of the two.

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The organization continued to operate in this manner until December 2, 2016, when members of Pennsylvania State Police and Franklin County Drug Task Force stopped Kevin Paul and Susan Hollabaugh as the couple was returning from Philadelphia with a substantial quantity of heroin in their vehicle.

Charles Lynch was charged with operating a Corrupt Organization, conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin, Conspiracy to Commit Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Susan Hollabaugh was charged with operating a Corrupt Organization, conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Richard Danzberger was charged with being employed by a Corrupt Organization, conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Brandi Bechtel was charged with conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, Delivery of Heroin, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Kevin Paul was charged with being employed by a Corrupt Organization, conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Kelly Paul was charged with being employed by a Corrupt Organization, conspiring with others in the operation of a Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

The following agencies participated in this investigation: Pennsylvania State Police – Troop H Vice Unit, Shippensburg Borough Police, Chambersburg Borough Police, Franklin County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police – Chambersburg Patrol Unit

Anyone with information regarding this investigation, or other drug activity within Franklin County, is asked to contact the Franklin County Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-3127, or respond via email to tips@drugtaskforce.org.