Amish, Pagans arrested in two-county drug ring

Tuesday, June 23, 1998
by Janet Kelley and Todd R. Weiss New Era Staff Writers

PHILADELPHIA _ With traditional names like Stoltzfus and King, several Amish young people were charged along with Pagan motorcycle gang members this morning with distributing drugs throughout Lancaster and Chester counties.

This morning,state police and FBI agents swept through the two counties and arrested suspects they say have been distributing multiple kilos of cocaine and methamphetamine in the area for several years.

In Chester County _ it was members of the Pagan motorcycle gang, police said.

In Lancaster County _ it was members of Amish youth groups known as the Crickets, Antiques and Pilgrims, police said.

"Bikes and buggies," Pennsylvania State Police Major Robert Werts said at a press conference in Philadelphia this morning. "It's a rather strange combination.

"Our drug investigations are taking us to places where years ago we didn't think we had a problem. And we do."

In a Philadelphia press conference late this morning, federal authorities explained how the drug ring operated: The Chester County Pagans would obtain the drugs and sell them to Amish people for distribution in Lancaster County at hoedowns _ a traditional gathering dance or social for Amish and other teens and young adults. Most hoedowns are held in barns. Younger Amish attend them before they become formal members of the conservative church _ which usually happens in their late teens

"The obvious lesson here," U.S. Attorney Michael Stiles said, "is the drug problem is everywhere. It is not limited to the mean streets of Philadelphia. Drugs can sweep into any community," including the Plain community of Lancaster County.

"It was difficult to understand how two different worlds could collide," Special Agent Robert Conforti said. "It's something in my (26) years in the FBI, I've never encountered before."

The federal indictment alleges that between 1992 and 1997, members of the Chester County Chapter of the Pagans purchased the drugs from various sources and resold the drugs to others.

If convicted, the defendants face penalties ranging from a minimum of five years of supervised release to a maximum of a life sentence. They also face fines ranging up to $4 million and possible forfeiture of all property that resulted from illegal drug proceeds or that was used to commit the crimes.

Amish, Flee scene arrested after crashing buggy

Sunday March 11th 2012,
4 Amish Arrested After Buggy Hits Cop Car Authorities in western New York say they've charged four young Amish adults with illegal possession of alcohol after their buggy collided with a police car responding to a report of a drinking party under way. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office tells media outlets that the crash occurred around 7:15 Sunday in the rural town of Sherman, near the Pennsylvania border in New York's southwest corner. Officials say deputies were responding to reports that people were drinking in several Amish buggies on a country road. As a patrol car arrived on the scene, one of the Amish buggies changed lanes, colliding with the police vehicle. The buggy flipped onto its side, causing minor injuries to one of the people on board. Police say several other buggies fled the scene.

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