Operation Failing Grade, Phase Two, delivered last week with 16 people accused of using and/or selling illegal drugs throughout the county. All but three of the suspects had been apprehended by the time Attorney General Tom Corbett held a news conference at the Mansfield State Police Barracks. One suspect, Jamalle Walker, 28, was believed to be in New York City, and two others, Jamal Taliaferro, 26, and Jevon Battersbee, 29, were being sought in the Philadelphia area.
Attorney Corbett said, "This group of people is allegedly responsible for selling more than two kilos of cocaine, 20 bricks of heroin, 50 pounds of marijuana and thousands of prescription pills and patches, including Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin in the Mansfield area over the last two years. The investigation began early in 2007 as a continuation of Operation Failing Grade."
The original Operation Failing Grade was a 16-month investigation in November of 2006 that led to the arrests of nine Mansfield University students who were allegedly involved in a drug ring that trafficked as much as $500,000 worth of cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. Corbett noted that the first Operation Failing Grade had a 100 percent conviction rate. He said, "Jacob Houck, who was arrested in Phase One of the operation, had bought and sold drugs with two of the people arrested today. This is just another example of how continuing drug investigations are successful in apprehending multiple associates. Our office and the state police are very diligent in following leads and making connections that allow us to identify and arrest more and more individuals involved in the sale of illegal drugs."
He added, "This was a loosely-knit group of students and local residents who were selling drugs to other students and residents of Tioga County. Generally, this group of individuals was not working together, but at times, they did have common customers. But there is one thing they do have in common; they are all involved in the illegal distribution of drugs in Tioga County."
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