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Nine indicted for firearms trafficking in York County in “Operation Gun Grabber.”

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HARRISBURG, Pa — Since March 29, nine people have been federally indicted for engaging in illegal firearms and drug trafficking.

A collaborating effort from the ATF and the York County Drug Task Force operation in York, Pa.

All involved have been indicted and detained separately.

The final arraignment hearing happened April 25 before Chief United State Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab.

These cases are now unsealed.

The indicted defendants are:

Edward Harris, age 58, a resident of Uniontown, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• an UZI submachine gun with a partially obliterated serial number;

• a magazine with thirty-one (31) Winchester 9mm cartridges;

• fifty (50) PMC 9mm caliber full metal jacket ammunition;

• forty-four (44) .38 caliber ammunition and

• thirty-two (32) Winchester 9mm cartridges.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Harris on April 4, and determined he should be detained pending trial.

The Honorable John E. Jones, III will preside over Harris’ case, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Ernest Crosby, age 25, a resident of Manchester, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a .357 magnum Revolver, loaded with six .357 magnum Winchester caliber cartridges.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Crosby on April 4, and determined he should be detained pending trial.

The Honorable John E. Jones, III will preside over Crosby’s case, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 2.

Jeremiah Ashford age 25, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a .22 caliber Ruger Revolver, and four .22 caliber cartridges.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Ashford on April 4, and determined he should be detained pending trial.

Chief Judge Conner will preside over Ashford’s case, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Lykeem Bethune, age 20, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and on April 19, and charged with the sale and possession of:

• a stolen Intratec 9mm pistol with twenty-two 9mm caliber cartridges loaded in the magazine and

• a stolen Springfield Armory .40 caliber pistol with nine .40 caliber Winchester Full Metal Jacket cartridges loaded in the magazine.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Bethune on April 4, and then on April 25, and determined that Bethune should be detained pending trial.

Judge Jones will preside over Bethune’s cases, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Derek Jones, age 23, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a stolen Intratec 9mm pistol and twenty-two 9mm caliber cartridges loaded in the magazine.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Jones on April 4, and determined that Jones should be detained pending trial.

Judge Jones will preside over Derek Jones’ cases, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Edward Lee McDowell, III, age 20, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a Springfield Armory .40 caliber pistol and nine .40 caliber Winchester Full Metal Jacket cartridges loaded in the magazine; and

• a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol with an integrated suppressor, and a 9mm Hi-Point rifle with five 9mm cartridges.

McDowell also faces felony heroin trafficking violations.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned McDowell on April 4, and determined he should be detained pending trial. The Honorable Yvette Kane will preside over McDowell’s case, and she has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Quran Smallwood, age 22, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a 9mm Glock loaded with twenty 9mm caliber cartridges.

• Smallwood also faces felony heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana trafficking violations.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned McDowell on April 4, and determined he should be detained pending trial. The Honorable Yvette Kane will preside over McDowell’s case, and she has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Fred Crowder, III, age 32, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a .12 gauge Mossberg shotgun and two 12 gauge Remington Peters shotgun shells.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Crowder on April 18, and determined he should be detained pending trial.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner will preside over Crowder’s case, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5.

Kenge Lewis, III, age 23, a resident of York, Pa. was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa. on March 29, and charged with possessing:

• a .22 caliber I.J.A. & C.WKS revolver and eight Winchester .22 caliber Super X cartridges.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Lewis on April 18, and determined he should be detained pending trial.

The Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo will preside over Lewis’ case, and she has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5. U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler stated, “President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have both made clear that reducing violent crime in our inner cities is a high priority for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The illegal sale and use of firearms by criminals, particularly in drug transactions, fuels violent crimes and this effort taking guns out of the hands of criminals is part of our effort to reduce violent crimes in York.”

The guns seized in this case ranged from semiautomatic pistols to machine guns and assault-style rifles.

Many of the firearms had high-capacity magazines, lasers and one was equipped with a silencer.

A number of these firearms were stolen, straw-purchased or had obliterated serial numbers.

“This indictment is a result of the collaborative efforts between ATF and the York County Drug Task Force,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi.

“ATF is dedicated to investigating and pursuing violent criminals who pollute our communities with drugs and gun violence.”

“Unfortunately, we know all too well the devastation which often occurs due to the illegal trafficking of firearms,” said Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Dave Sunday.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the York County Drug Task Force, United States Attorney’s Office, and ATF, we have not only removed eleven firearms off the streets of York but have taken nine individuals off those same streets who desire to illegally traffic firearms in our neighborhoods which place our citizens and law enforcement officers in potentially deadly situations.

Our community is safer today because of these efforts and I applaud all involved.”

These cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the York County Drug Task Force, the York City Police Department, York County Adult Probation Department and the York County District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor is prosecuting the cases.

These cases were brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.

Indictments and Criminal Information are only allegations.

All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law varies depending on the offense, and includes a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs.

For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Source: The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania