An arrest by Hanover Borough Police in November 2021 turned in a two-year narcotics investigation that resulted in the discovery of multiple distribution rings and the arrest of 37 people, police said Wednesday.
The joint investigation, led by the York County Drug Task Force and Hanover Borough Police Department, uncovered multiple large-scale networks of individuals trafficking illegal narcotics throughout the Hanover area and in one case, across the country.
In that case, the arrest of Iroc Shane Bunch, 23, of York, led to what York County District Attorney Dave Sunday characterized as “one of the most major busts we’ve seen in many, many years.”
During a press conference on Wednesday in the council chambers of Hanover Borough, Sunday described how the investigation unfolded.
“From the investigations, one led to another, which led to another, which led to another,” said Sunday.
While 37 arrests were made, Sunday highlighted three of the major arrests in the investigation.
In November 2021, Hanover Borough Police arrested Billy Austin Norris, 51, of Gettysburg, who they charged with two counts of delivery of cocaine. Norris was the first arrest in the investigation, according to police.
Then, in February 2022, police arrested Frederick M. Hess Jr., 49, of Hanover, who was charged with two counts of delivery/possession with the intent to deliver cocaine and fentanyl in Hanover. This investigation led police to serve a search warrant on the 300 block of East Middle Street, where police seized cocaine, fentanyl, $2,800 in cash, two handguns, and two long guns, according to police.
Further investigation by police led them to Darnell Harris, 41, of York, who police say was allegedly operating a cocaine delivery ring in the Hanover area and West Manchester Township. Harris was charged with 11 counts of delivery/possession with the intent to deliver cocaine as well as criminal conspiracy.
Police say Harris worked with Amber Lauren Hall, 33, of Hanover, who they charged with five counts of delivery/possession with the intent to deliver cocaine as well as criminal conspiracy. Additionally, police say that Harris would send Hall, Todd Chenoweth, 39, of Hanover, or Tony Allen Wagner, 57, of Hanover, to meet buyers.
Hall and Harris would operate out of motel rooms in the Hanover area, police said. Along with motels in the Hanover area, police say they traced Harris’ activity to the home of Wendy Hake, 61, of York, on the 700 block of Girard Avenue, in York City. Hake’s house was described by police as a stash house for Harris, which contained large amounts of crack cocaine, police said.
While out on bail in September 2023, police say Hall and Harris both continued their drug distribution activities and were taken into custody by Hanover Police on Sept. 5, 2023, after a cocaine sale. That led to a search of a residence on the 600 block of Carlisle Street in Hanover, where police determined Harris and Hall used the residence to conduct cocaine transactions. Police seized $12,000 in cash during this search, and arrested Andrea Carole Coulson, 52, and Terry Scott, 62, who lived at the residence. Both Coulson and Scott were charged with possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, police say.
Shooting on North Street
During this investigation, police arrested Derrick Ulysses Dykes, 35, of Darby, and charged him with two counts of delivery of cocaine, after police say Dykes delivered controlled substances to undercover investigators in the Hanover area.
On Oct. 18, 2022, police say, Dykes was involved in the shooting of Peter Goines Jr., 36, of Hanover, who was also charged in the investigation. Police charged Goines with three counts of delivery of cocaine after, they say, Goines delivered controlled substances to undercover officers in Hanover Borough.
Police said Goines, who is related to Dykes, was shot by Dykes in an alley on the 100 block of North Street in Hanover Borough. At the time of the shooting, police said Goines was airlifted to York Hospital with serious injuries.
Police previously said that Goines was there to meet an acquaintance when he was shot. Dykes fled the scene after the shooting and was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Through further investigation of leads, police were led to Desean Alexander Williams, 29, of Hanover, and Terrell Lee Smith, 33, of Shippensburg, who were charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of criminal conspiracy, after undercover officers made several purchases of cocaine at a residence on Stuart Avenue in Penn Township.
On Feb. 24, 2023, police served a search warrant at that home, and seized cocaine, a handgun, and $22,000 in cash. Police additionally charged Williams with a firearms offense.
Stemming from this investigation, Williams and Smith have been indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for cocaine trafficking offenses.
“We thank our partners here from the FBI, who have worked diligently with us, to ensure that individuals such as Williams and Smith are held accountable and indicted in federal court,” Sunday said.
The ‘dark web’
In April 2023, York County probation officers visited Iroc Shane Bunch, 23, of York, at his residence in Manchester Township. After the probation officers observed marijuana in the residence, Northern York County Regional Police searched the home. Police say they found seven pounds of marijuana, and 1,400 pills that appeared to be Xanax.
Police say these pills were later determined to be Bromazolan, a non-scheduled designer drug.
Information developed through the larger investigation led detectives to a garage on the 500 block of Baltimore Street in Hanover, where police determined that an associate of Bunch was taking orders for fentanyl pills on the dark web. Sunday said that, using the dark web, customers would mask their identity, to remain anonymous during the sales.
These orders were arriving from all over the United States, police say. The unnamed associate would provide the orders to Bunch, who would process the orders in the Hanover garage, police said. After counting the pills and packaging them, police say, Bunch would place the packages in the U.S. mail for shipment and delivery throughout the United States.
Sunday described the operation in the Hanover garage as a “hub” to distribute these drugs across the entirety of the United States.
“When you look at Mr. Bunch, and you look at the amount,” Sunday said, “that clearly is a major dealer.”
During a search, police seized 6,320 fentanyl pills, 9 pounds of marijuana, 8 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, and $21,000 in cash.
Through this investigation, Sunday said, it was determined that approximately over 50,000 fentanyl pills were shipped from the garage in Hanover throughout the United States. Bunch also allegedly retained fentanyl that was sold throughout York County, Sunday said.
“It’s a huge bust in terms of the impact on public safety by removing that logistics network from the system,” Sunday said.
A collaborative effort
“What we did was, we focused on this region, and put resources into it,” Sunday said.
Sunday highlighted the collaboration between Hanover Borough Police, the York County Drug Task Force, Penn Township Police, Northern York County Regional Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The overall investigation had “a material impact” on drug activity in the southwestern region of York County, Sunday said.
Hanover Borough Police Chief Chad Martin described the cooperation of these agencies as vital to help smaller, local agencies like Hanover keep up to date with challenges such as the dark web.
“It’s tough for the smaller agencies to stay on top of continuing trends day in and day out,” said Martin.
Martin said the dark web adds a new context to drug investigations and makes it harder for officers to track where drugs are coming from or where they’re going when they get sent across the United States.
“The drug trade has no boundaries,” Martin said, “it affects more than just Hanover Borough.”
Martin asked those present to imagine how the families of overdose victims must feel.
“One death is too many deaths,” said Martin.
“We realize there is a problem, and we’re not going to tolerate it.”
A list of the 37 people arrested
Billy Austin Norris, 51, Gettysburg
Frederick M. Hess Jr., 49, Hanover
Amy Beth Wolf, 33, Hanover
Bradley Raymond Stoner, aka Cupcake, 59, Frederick, Md.
Staci Ada Hawkins, 34, Hanover
Darnell Harris, aka Packey, 41, York
Amber Lauren Hall, 33, Hanover
Todd Chenoweth, 39, Hanover
Tony Allen Wagner, 57, Hanover
Wendy Hake, 61, York
Andrea Carole Cullison, 52
Terry Scott, 62
Jerrelle Louisa Blanson, 33, aka Lou
Peter D. Goines Jr., 36, aka Gunz, Hanover
Shayne Lee Calp, 35, York
Carlos Lorenzo Cotton, aka Los, 47, New Oxford
Geoffrey Odan Davis, 37, aka G, 37, York
Robert Allen Bullock, 58, Hanover
Stephen Douglas Riley, 37, Hanover
Robin Marie Bartgis, 39, Philadelphia
Diane Dean, 61, Hanover
Kelly Marie Marion, 63, Hanover
John Pierre Demoss, 44, Hanover
Savaughn Omar Salisbury, 21, aka S, Hanover
Derrick Ulysses Dykes, 35, aka Dizz, Darby
Bryan T. Bradley, 20, Hanover
Desean Alexander Williams, aka Trife, 29, Hanover
Terell Lee Smith, 33, Shippensburg
Joseph Allen Morse, 28, Hanover
Iroc Shane Bunch, 23, York
Brittany Rose Rasnake, 29, Hanover
Donald Aaron Almstrom, 46, Hanover
David Aaron Sanders, 38, Baltimore
Gary Montez Washington, 40, Baltimore
Aaron Michael Hull, 23, Hanover
Nelfry Luis German-Almanzar, 32, aka Primo or Nephew, Hanover
Maurice Bray, 28, Hanover