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Elementary teacher among dozens charged in large-scale Pennsylvania drug trafficking operation

April 27, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Elementary teacher among dozens charged in large-scale Pennsylvania drug trafficking operation

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An elementary school teacher was one of the dozens taken into custody Wednesday as part of an extensive take-down of a drug trafficking operation in Pennsylvania.

A federal grand jury issued two separate but similar indictments charging 39 people who are tied with a widespread cocaine distribution enterprise. Two of the suspects remain on the lam.

“This organization is one of the largest in the history of Western Pennsylvania. It spread across the country, from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, with sources to Mexican cartels, and brought hundreds of kilos of cocaine,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady stated.

The multi-agency operation, called Heavy Hand, confiscated $2 million worth of cocaine, WPXI reported

Authorities revealed that in recent months they busted an RV transporting cocaine, cash, marijuana, and firearms from Los Angeles to a residence in Verona.

“By taking down a multistate operation, the impact is felt immediately,” Brady added.

The FBI confirmed to Channel 11 that elementary school teacher Renee Kinder was among the co-conspirators charged in the drug trafficking case.

Ringgold district officials indicated that she is employed with them. Kinder is no longer permitted on school property.

The suspects are accused of drug trafficking, money laundering, financial structuring and firearms offenses. The drugs were being soldin Donora, Monessen, Washington, Canonsburg, and Uniontown.

“Drugs tear at the inner fabric of our community,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Bob Johnson said. “They bring violence to our streets. They waste lives and wreak havoc on families. That’s why the FBI is committed to preventing enterprises from continuing to damage our community.”

Detectives indicated that their primary goals are to combat the opioid epidemic, but they say cocaine is making a powerful comeback.

“Many citizens are now overdosing on a combination of cocaine and fentanyl,” Brady continued. “If you are selling drugs in Pennsylvania, we are coming after you.”

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