19 Arrests and Over $260,000 Cash Seized in Coatesville Drug Raid

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WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office, the Chester County Drug and Organized Crime Unit (CCDOC)/High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Strike Task Force (HIDTA), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and the Coatesville City Police Department (CPD) jointly announced today the dismantlement of two large-scale Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) in Coatesville, PA. So far, 19 people have been arrested.

Thirteen members of the “Rokins DTO” were arrested in connection with Operation “Roasting Chestnuts” on January 4, 2023, and the majority were charged with corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of illegal firearms, dealing in unlawful proceeds, and related offenses. Six members of the “Goonies DTO” were arrested on February 8, 2023, in connection with Operation “Hey You Guys” and charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of illegal firearms, and related charges. A total of 19 guns, 17 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.6 pounds of cocaine, 9.5 pounds of marijuana, 68 grams of heroin/fentanyl, pressed fentanyl pills, and over $260,000 cash were seized from both DTOs.

“This was an outstanding collaborative effort by law enforcement in our pursuit to keep the public safe and rid this poison from our communities. Not only did they dismantle these dangerous DTOs, police also seized 19 illegal firearms which saves the lives of other potential victims,” said Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan. “We are all committed to safeguarding our communities from the ravages of drugs, guns, and criminal activity and thank the Chester County DOC/HIDTA Unit, Coatesville City PD, Phoenixville PD, West Chester Borough PD, the Pennsylvania State Police, Parkesburg Borough PD, Oxford Borough PD, Downingtown Borough PD, as well as the Chester County, West Chester, and Montgomery County Regional ERTs for their hard work.”

City of Coatesville Chief of Police Jack Laufer stated, “The most important fact of these investigations was that they originated with complaints from the concerned citizens of our community. The City of Coatesville is in the midst of a period of economic revitalization with a $65 million dollar AMTRAK station under construction along with over $200 million dollars in other economic development projects started and planned. DTOs such as these have no place in our city. With the continued cooperation from all of our law enforcement partners, the CPD will continue to help create a city that is safe for our residents and welcoming to our visitors.”

PSP Captain Robert Wagner, Commanding Officer of Troop J, Lancaster, stated, “The Pennsylvania State Police in Troop J is proud to work with our federal, county, and local law enforcement partners to rid the streets of dangerous drugs and drug dealers in Chester County. Arrests like these make our communities and streets safer for everyone.”

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Jeremiah Daley, Executive Director of the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), stated “Drug Trafficking Organizations such as these in Coatesville not only fill communities with dangerous and addictive substances like cocaine and methamphetamine, but are also often at the root of a community’s gun violence. Given the number of firearms seized from both DTOs, along with the volume of controlled substances they are believed to have been distributing, their dismantlement will certainly foster some measure of improvement in the quality of life of Coatesville’s residents.”

The allegations in the complaints are the following:

After receiving neighborhood complaints from Coatesville residents about suspected drug activity at 586 East Chestnut Street in the summer of 2022, police began a long-term investigation utilizing surveillance, confidential informants, and undercover police officers.

Residents reported that they were afraid to leave their homes because they were fearful of the blatant drug trafficking, unending streams of drug buyers, and threats of violence with firearms, especially in the presence of young children.

Police noted high volumes of foot traffic at the house daily and began conducting targeted stops of individuals suspected of purchasing controlled substances. Through these stops, interviews of arrestees, community complaints, information from confidential informants, and surveillance observations, police learned that an organized Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) was operating at numerous addresses in the 500 block of East Chestnut Street. Investigators estimated that this DTO was engaged in the trafficking of hundreds of deliveries involving marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, prescription pills, and methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $12,000 – $12,500 per day in small street level quantities. In July 2022, members of CCDOC, HIDTA, and CPD determined that 586 East Chestnut Street was a “trap house.”

A “Trap House” is a place where illegal drugs are sold, stored, and or used.

Investigators observed that Rahshon Rokins was the leader of the DTO (hereinafter referred to as the “Rokins DTO”), and he worked in conjunction with DTO Lieutenants Danquice Shelton and Brian Hawkins to operate and supervise “trap house” locations in Coatesville where members would distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. Police also determined that the cocaine sold by the Rokins DTO was supplied by Rokins DTO member Walter Loper.

Several defendants later identified as working for the Rokins DTO were observed openly trafficking cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, prescription pills, and marijuana in high volumes at different locations in Coatesville. The Rokins DTO was responsible for the distribution of more than one kilogram of crack cocaine per month to approximately 100 different regular customers arriving on foot and in vehicles. While quantities of cocaine were being sold from $10 caps to 1/8-ounce quantities at a time, the Rokins DTO successfully operated a highly lucrative business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for more than six months.

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Between September 2022 and December 2022, investigators conducted 14 controlled buys and undercover purchases of cocaine and crack cocaine from Rashon Rokins, Daquince Shelton, and numerous others.

In October 2022, PSP became aware that Rodney Gaffney was also selling large quantities of methamphetamine in Coatesville. Multiple controlled purchases were made from Gaffney utilizing a confidential informant. During the investigation an undercover state trooper made controlled purchases from Brian Hawkins as well. Maurice Scott was later identified as the supplier of methamphetamine to Brian Hawkins. PSP was able to identify Gaffney and Scott as individuals involved with the “Goonies” gang (hereinafter referred to as the “Goonies DTO”). Police determined that Gaffney and Scott were working together to sell large quantities of methamphetamine. Between October 2022 and February 2023, troopers conducted 11 controlled buys and undercover purchases totaling approximately 6 ½ pounds of methamphetamine with nine transactions occurring in and around Coatesville City and two transactions occurring in Lancaster County.

On Wednesday, January 4, 2023, emergency response teams from Chester and Montgomery counties executed five simultaneous search warrants at locations associated with drug trafficking including 586 East Chestnut Street, 577 East Chestnut Street, 100 Harlan Drive, and 642 Merchant Street in Coatesville City, as well as 133 North Brandywine Avenue in Modena Borough.
Thirteen people involved with the Rokins DTO were arrested. Investigators seized ten firearms, two bullet proof vests, and varying quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine with an estimated total street value of $25,000. Some DTO members flushed evidence down the toilet or threw it out of windows. Other suspects made attempts to flee or hide from officers but were apprehended without injury.

Rahshon “Rocky” Rokins, 48, Walter “Winston” Loper, 39, Larry “Bama” Williams, 40, Danquice “Queety” Shelton, 35, Nakia “Low key” Clark, 48, Donique “Nique” Griffy, 27, Sherena “Rena” Morton, 33, Shawn “D” Duncan, 41, Dianita Thomas, 45, Dwayne Beckett, 48, Ertha “Dirt” Flowers-Renshaw, 69, Dameon Nixon, 29, and Troy Hardy, 40, all Coatesville residents who conspired to traffic narcotics, were arraigned. Most are held at Chester County Prison after bail was set at $250,000 by Magisterial District Judge (MDJ) Matthew Seavey. Dwayne Beckett and Dameon Nixon had bail set at 10% of $150,000, and Nixon was able to post bail.

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On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, PSP Troops H, J, K, and L Vice/Narcotics Units, Troop J Criminal Investigation and Patrol Units, PSP Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations (BESO) divisions including the East and West Special Emergency Response Teams (SERT), Fugitive Apprehension Unit, Canine Unit, Aviation Unit, along with the CCDOC, CPD, and Chester County Regional ERT, coordinated efforts with the CCDOC, CPD, United States Marshals Service, and other law enforcement agencies assisted in the simultaneous service of ten search and arrest warrants in Coatesville and the surrounding area. During this operation, 6 defendants were arrested in connection with the Goonies DTO.

Maurice “Poodah” Scott, 30, of East Fallowfield Twp., Rodney “Gaff” Gaffney, 31, of Coatesville, Brian Hawkins, 48, of Caln Twp., Douglas Gray, 32, of South Coatesville, and others, were all arrested on February 8, 2023.

Maurice Scott and Brian Hawkins were arraigned by MDJ Feldman. Scott is held at Chester County Prison on $50,000 cash bail. Hawkins’ bail was set at $15,000 unsecured. Rodney Gaffney was arraigned by MDJ Hines and is in Chester County Prison on $15,000 cash bail. Douglas Gray was arraigned by MDJ Kovaleski, and he is in Chester County Prison on $7,500, 10% bail.

Police seized approximately 17 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.6 pounds of cocaine, 9.5 pounds of marijuana, 68 grams of heroin/fentanyl, pressed fentanyl pills, ¼ pound of crack cocaine, prescription pills, MDMA, 9 guns, including a ghost gun, approximately $260,074.00 cash, a money counter, and a ballistic vest.

PSP and CCDOC are investigating. Deputy District Attorney Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill is the assigned prosecutor.

If you have information about this case, call Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866 or the Pennsylvania State Police at 610-486-6280.

Information, a criminal complaint, or an arrest is not a declaration of guilt. A suspect, arrestee, or defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.

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