March 18, 2016
Contact: SSA Henry Vinson
Phone Number: (215) 861-3474
Members Of Chester Drug Trafficking Organization Convicted
PHILADELPHIA - Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Philadelphia Field Division announced today that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against members of a violent drug trafficking organization that operated in and around Chester, Pennsylvania. The jury found Donald Womack, Sr., Paris Church, Ronell Whitehead, Breon Burton, and Spencer Payne guilty of operating a drug market within the Rose and Upland neighborhood on the east side of Chester City. Womack, Church, Whitehead, Burton, and Payne were convicted of conspiracy.
All of the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. Womack faces a mandatory term of life in prison; the remaining defendants, except Payne, face a mandatory term of 20 years in prison. Payne faces a mandatory term of 10 years in prison. Among the charges that these defendants and their 17 co-defendants were convicted of include distributing cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin to customers between August 2012 and September 2014, maintaining a drug house, possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and distributing these drugs within 1,000 feet of area schools and a playground. Burton was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. One of the group’s largest cocaine and heroin suppliers, Paris Church, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. The leader of the drug trafficking group, William Dorsey, and 16 other co-defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in the organization. Sentencing hearings have not yet been scheduled.
“These defendants created havoc for the residents of Chester City,” said Tuggle. “This case, which was worked jointly with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, lead to the end of this drug-trafficking organization, which undoubtedly saved lives and will improve the overall quality of life in that community.”
The case was investigated by the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chester Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division. Also providing substantial assistance during this case were the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley K. Lunkenheimer, A. Nicole Phillips, and Faithe Moore Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.