United States Attorney David J. Freed said that in October 2017, a federal search warrant was executed on Counterman’s Canadensis residence, resulting in the seizure of 142 grams of pure crystal methamphetamine and drug distribution paraphernalia. A financial investigation of the drug distribution activities yielded the discovery of a scheme by which Counterman purchased residential properties in and around the Poconos using money from drug distribution.
In addition to prison time, Counterman will be subject to ten years of supervised release. Counterman was also forced to forfeit $128,000 to the government, representing proceeds from the sale of properties owned by the man at the time of his arrest.
U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley issued the ruling.
Counterman was believed to have been the ringleader of a group of 19 alleged drug dealers when he lived in Saylorsburg in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1993, he was apprehended after state narcotics agents made 25 separate undercover purchases of ounces or pounds of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine from him.
At the time, Pennsylvania State Police Captain Wesley R. Waugh said that methamphetamine was Counterman’s “favorite choice of drug to distribute.” Waugh estimated that Counterman sold close to a pound of methamphetamine – then valued at $10,000 – every five days.
Federal authorities stated that Counterman and his cohorts sold more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine manufactured in four laboratories in Ross Township and others locations in Philadelphia and New Tripoli.
Counterman was eventually sentenced to ten years imprisonment on federal charges.
Besides Counterman, four others involved in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s “Game of Homes” operation were sentenced by Judge Munley, including two other Monroe County residents.
Kelly Brady, 56, of East Stroudsburg was sentenced to 55 months’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute in excess of 1,500 grams of actual methamphetamine.
Sean Martin, 38, of Marshalls Creek was sentenced to 121 months’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine. Judge Munley ordered that Martin’s federal sentence is to run consecutively to a 16 to 36 month sentence in Monroe County that he was serving at the time of his conviction.
Levi Roopchand, 28, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment and four years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Roopchand will be subject to deportation to Trinidad upon completion of his federal sentence.
Michelle Christie, age 56, of Garden Grove, California was sentenced to 96 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50grams of actual methamphetamine.
This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation section. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley prosecuted the case.
The prosecution was part of an extensive investigation led by the OCDETF, a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking. The organization is noted as the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle targeted criminal organizations and seize their assets.
The case was also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime. The Department of Justice reinvigorated the PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work alongside federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crimes.