Thursday, September 29, 2011

37 facing drug charges in sting at Boeing plant. Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.

People were led away in zip-tie restraints after the FBI raided the Boeing facility, located in Ridley Park, Pa. Action News has blurred the faces of agents to protect their identities. .


PHILADELPHIA — A four-year undercover federal investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics at Boeing’s Ridley Township plant yielded charges against 37 individuals, including the former president of United Aerospace Workers Local 1069.

Michael Patterson, 53, of Eddystone, was among 28 Delaware County residents charged Thursday in the sting conducted by the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Patterson was charged with three misdemeanor counts of attempted possession of two prescription painkillers. He faces a maximum of three years in prison.

Current union President Chris Owens did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Patterson, who had resigned from his union position last year, was among 14 individuals charged with the misdemeanor of attempted possession of prescription drugs.

The other 23 individuals were indicted for illegally distributing narcotics, a felony carrying much steeper penalties. Those individuals face maximum penalties ranging from 10 years in prison with a $500,000 fine to 260 years and a $13 million fine.

“It’s a wide range, just like out there on the street,” U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said. “Some drug dealers deal more. Some drug dealers deal less.”

The individuals allegedly dealt several prescription drugs, including painkillers oxycodone and fentanyl, which is commonly prescribed to cancer patients; the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, better known as Xanax; and buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone, which is used to treat addiction to opioids like heroin.

Federal agents raided the Boeing plant Thursday morning, arresting 27 employees at the facility. Nine others were arrested off-site. One individual, who Memeger did not identify, had not been arrested as of Thursday afternoon.

Two union officials, John Mozzani and Andy Duris, were among those charged. Both Mozzani and Duris are north side union committeemen.

Mozzani, 49, of Trainer, was indicted on three felony counts of distributing oxycodone and aiding and abetting criminals. He faces a maximum of 60 years in prison and a $3 million fine.

Duris, 55, of Secane, was charged with a misdemeanor count of attempted possession of oxycodone, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

The 37 defendants include both current and former employees and one nonemployee, Memeger said, though he would not provide their specific job responsibilities.

“They held various positions at Boeing … including the manufacturing of aircraft,” Memeger said. “What we also know from the course of this investigation is that these individuals purchased drugs and were using drugs (on property).

“But during the investigation, we took affirmative steps to coordinate with Boeing, to make sure that the steps and mechanisms were in place at Boeing to ensure the quality and safety of the airplanes that were being constructed.”

Memeger said no aircraft accidents had occurred as a result of employee drug use related to the sting.

The probe was launched after Boeing officials contacted federal law enforcement regarding suspicious drug activity. Company officials fully cooperated with the investigation, Memeger said.

The case is being investigated by assistant U.S. attorneys Faithe Moore Taylor and Ashley Lunkenheimer.

The charges allege that each defendant either sold a controlled substance to an FBI cooperator or bought what was believed to be a prescription drug from the cooperator. The drugs sold by the cooperator were placebos.

Memeger described the drug operation as a “nebulous” of individual drug dealers, saying federal investigators did not have enough evidence to establish conspiracy charges. However, he stopped short of saying the individuals were unaware of their fellow drug dealers.

Asked whether the drug dealing was a daily occurrence that may have lasted for years at Boeing, Memeger refused to speculate on anything beyond the charges announced Thursday.

“I’m not in a position to generalize what was going on throughout the Boeing plant,” Memeger said. “What I can talk about is what we were able to identify and what we determined was probable cause to bring charges against these defendants.”

He added that the source of the drugs was not a prominent focus of the investigation, but noted such drugs are easily found in family medicine cabinets and sold by unscrupulous doctors.

Memeger forwarded to Boeing officials all questions regarding employee drug testing, recalled aircraft or the specific positions of charged individuals.

Boeing spokesman Damien Mills did not field questions, but issued a statement on behalf of the company.

“An internal Boeing investigation determined that potentially illegal activities were being conducted by certain employees at the (Ridley) Boeing facility,” Mills said. “Boeing reported the company’s findings to federal law enforcement officials and cooperated fully with the subsequent investigation and interdiction.

“Boeing commends the U.S. Attorney’s office and other federal law enforcement agencies for their rigorous and thorough investigation, throughout which we took appropriate steps to ensure safety of our employees and the absolute integrity and quality of the products we produce for our customers.”

With more than 6,000 workers, Boeing is the county’s largest employer. Last week, the company celebrated 50 years of production of the workhouse Chinook helicopter and a new production facility.

The fuselage of the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey also is produced at the Ridley plant.

Memeger said the investigation at Boeing remains ongoing.

Here is a list of those arrested on drug charges at Boeing plant in Ridley Township, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office:

Ted Battista, Morton, 53

Kevin Bishop, Philadelphia, 43

Robert S. Bromley Lester, 52

William Corcoran, Glenolden, 55

John L. D’Agostino, Media, 64

Vincent Demsky, Ridley Park, 49

Andy Duris, Secane, 55

Stephen Ellis, Springfield, 41

John Fitzpatrick Morton, 41

Jeffrey Forbes Middletown, Del., 51

Charles F. Haux , Lincoln University, 50

Ralph J. Highley, Franklinville, NJ, 52

Michael Homer Oxford, PA, 49

Amanda Jarrel, Folcroft, 23

Francis King, New Castle, Del., 59

Ray O. Langley, Philadelphia, 65

Thomas Lees, Brookhaven, 51

William Mann, Collingdale, 32

Gerald McKenzie, Upper Darby, 55

John Mozzani, Trainer, 49

Margaret M. Mozzani, Trainer, 51

Michael Patterson Eddystone, 53

Victor Phillip, Boothwyn, 51

Darryl Purfield, Springfield, 46

Mark Reese, Boothwyn, 48

Mark D. Robertson, Upper Chichester, 50

Joseph A. Salvato, Holmes, 59

John F. Shalkowski, Lumberton, NJ, 47

Richard Sommers, Lincoln University, 49

Craig Steckel, Morton, 46

Daniel Sullivan, Norwood, 53

Jonathan Sullivan, Media, 60

William B. Summers, Boothwyn, 52

James Swan, Springfield, 27

George Torres, Darby, 27

William W. Wilson, Ridley Park, 54

Christopher Young Collingdale, 53.

Below is a list of the charges the defendants face, and maximum punishments if found guilty:

Kevin Bishop, distribution of oxycodone, 1 count 20 years in prison; $1 million fine;

Robert S. Bromley, distribution of oxycodone, 1 count, 60 years in prison; $3 million fine

William Corcoran, distribution of oxycodone, 6 counts, 120 years in prison; $6 million fine;

John L. D’Agostino, distribution of oxycodone, 7 counts;possession w/intent to distribute oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, zolpidem, clonazepam, phentermine, 1 count 143 years in prison; $7.25 million fine

Stephen Ellis distribution of oxycodone, 4 counts 80 years in prison; $4 million fine

John Fitzpatrick distribution of dextroamphetamine, 2 counts 20 years in prison; $1 million fine

Charles F. Haux distribution of oxycodone, 12 counts 240 years in prison; $12 million fine

Ralph J. Highley distribution of suboxone, 1 count 10 years in prison; $500,000 fine

Amanda Jarrell distribution of buprenorphine, 1 count 10 years in prison; $500,000 fine

Francis King distribution of oxycodone, alprazolam, zolpidem, 1 count; distribution of alprazolam & zolpidem, 1 count; distribution of oxycodone, 1 count; 50 years in prison; $2.5 million fine

Ray O. Langley distribution of oxycodone, 6 counts; distribution of fentanyl, 7 counts 260 years in prison; $13 million fine

William Mann distribution of oxycodone, 2 counts 40 years in prison;$2 million fine

Gerald McKenzie distribution of fentanyl, 1 count 20 years in prison; $1 million fine

John Mozzani distribution of oxycodone, 3 counts; aiding and abetting; 60 years in prison;$3 million fine

Margaret M. Mozzani distribution of oxycodone, 6 counts; aiding and abetting; 120 years in prison; $6 million fine

Mark Reese distribution of oxycodone, 5 counts 100 years in prison; $5 million fine

Mark D. Robertson distribution of oxycodone, 2 counts; att. possession of oxycodone & fentanyl, 1 count; att. possession of fentanyl, 1 count 42 years in prison; $2 million fine

Joseph A. Salvato dist. of oxycodone, 9 counts; dist. of fentanyl, 2 counts 220 years in prison; $11 million fine

Richard Sommers distribution of buprenorphine, 3 counts 30 years in prison; $1.5 million fine

Craig Steckel distribution of oxycodone, 3 counts 60 years in prison; $3 million fine

Daniel T. Sullivan distribution of oxycodone, 3 counts; att. possession of oxycodone, 2 counts 40 years in prison; $2 million fine

Jonathan Sullivan distribution of oxycodone, 1 count 20 years in prison; $1 million fine

Christopher Young distribution of buprenorphine, 1 count 10 years in prison; $500,000 fine

Ted Battista attempted possession of oxycodone & fentanyl, 1 count; att. poss. of fentanyl, 2 counts; 1 year in prison each count

Vincent Demsky att. possession of oxycodone, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

Andy Duris att. possession of oxycodone,1 count 1 year in prison each count

Jeffrey L. Forbes att. possession of oxycodone & fentanyl, 3 counts; 1 year in prison each count

Michael Homer att. possession of oxycodone, 1 count 1 year in prison each count;

Thomas A. Lees att. possession of oxycodone, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

Michael Patterson att. possession of oxycodone & fentanyl, 3 counts; 1 year in prison each count

Victor Phillip att. possession of oxycodone, 2 counts 1 year in prison each count

Darryl Purfield att. possession of oxycodone, 3 counts; att. possession of fentanyl, 1 count; 1 year in prison each count

John F. Shalkowski att. possession of fentanyl, 2 counts 1 year in prison each count

William B. Summers att. possession of oxycodone, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

James Swan att. possession of oxycodone, 2 counts; att. possession of fentanyl, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

George A. Torres, III att. possession of fentanyl, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

William W. Wilson att. possession of oxycodone, 1 count 1 year in prison each count

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