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June 26, 2014

Accused heroin traffickers charged

NEW CASTLE — Nine of 12 people accused of widescale heroin sales have been charged.

Police said charges are pending against Roy Zook, 34, 230 Crawford Ave., William Fuller, 43, of 721 E. Main St., and a 17-year-old male, who is to be charged by juvenile petition.

All 12 suspects are accused of distributing heroin in a network allegedly led by Michael Schmidt, 34, of 915 Clarence Ave., which is said to have generated between $3 million and $6 million in sales in the past year.

Law enforcement officers from throughout Lawrence County arrested eight people Tuesday following a year-long investigation by the Lawrence County District Attorney’s special investigative unit, with help from New Castle police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

All those arrested were arraigned by District Judge Melissa Amodie, who set bond and committed them to the Lawrence County jail, where they remained Wednesday afternoon.

Their preliminary hearings are set for 11 a.m. July 8.

Zook is being brought back from North Carolina for processing, according to District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa. He said all the suspects are relatives or friends of each other.

In addition to other charges, each suspect faces a charge of corrupt organizations for conducting and participating in a racketeering activity, specifically drug trafficking. The additional charges and bonds of those arrested are:

•Michael Schmidt, 34, of 915 Clarence Ave. and 1610 Highland Ave., 12 counts of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession; and one count each of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, solicitation of minors to traffic drugs, drug-free school zone violation, solicitation of minors and corruption of minors. Bond is $250,000.

•Anthony Schmidt, 37, of 915 Clarence Ave., one count each of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. Bond is $250,000.

•Mark Anthony Ortiz, 29, of 245 Fern St., conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, solicitation of minors to traffic drugs, drug-free school zone and corruption of minors. Bond is $250,000.

•Stacey Nicole Heaney, 33, of 245 Fern St., one count each of drug-free school zone, solicitation of minors to traffic drugs and corruption of minors; three counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; and five counts of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. Bond is $250,000.

•Jamal Pierre Hill, 29, 245 Fern St., One count each of solicitation of minors to traffic drugs and corruption of minors; two counts each of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and criminal use of a communications facility; and three counts of conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess heroin. Bond is $250,000.

•Christopher Gravatt, 29, of 223 N. Scott St., seven counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; and three counts of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. Bond is $250,000.

•Paul Gravatt, 34, of 223 N. Scott St., one count of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and two counts each of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and criminal use of a communication facility. Bond is $250,000.

•Jodi Hoover, 39, of 208 N. Ray St., one count of corrupt organizations. Bond is $100,000.

•Jamie Clobus, 28, 838 Harrison St., one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, solicitation of minors to traffic drugs, solicitation of minors in a drug-free school zone, and corruption of minors. She is not yet in custody.

Police said Clobus and Heaney on one occasion aided the 17-year-old with selling 5.1 grams of heroin in a parking lot next to the New Castle Community Y.

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