Last updated on August 20, 2020
Neighbor tips led police to a stash of drugs and cash, and a stolen Ruger 9mm.
CHESTER COUNTY, PA — A Coatesville man has been charged with selling drugs and possessing guns illegally, after police followed up on numerous tips from concerned neighbors.
Authorities say Kenneth Jerome Cole, 42, was selling cocaine from his residence in Coatesville, and that he may be affiliated with the Thunderguard Motorcycle Club, an outlaw motorcycle gang based in Wilmington, Del.
Police seized three illegal firearms, cocaine, methamphetamine, various prescription pills, as well as drug packaging and manufacturing paraphernalia, and over $60,000 in cash, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. The estimated street value of the drugs is over $11,500, the criminal complaint said.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the City of Coatesville Police Department charged Cole with multiple counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver, Dealing in Unlawful Activities, Persons Not to Possess Firearms, Receiving Stolen Property and related offenses.
District Attorney Deb Ryan praised Coatesville law enforcement for their work. “We are grateful for the collective efforts of law enforcement, especially the City of Coatesville Police Department, in the swift apprehension of the defendant in this case,” she said.
Ryan stated, “We are all committed to safeguarding our community from the ravages of drugs and guns. We will not condone offenders who push this poison into our neighborhoods and we have zero tolerance for the possession of firearms to help facilitate the drug trade. Our office will continue to work vigilantly along with law enforcement throughout this county to keep our streets safe.”
A criminal complaint said that between Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, the defendant, along with another known co-conspirator, sold cocaine to a confidential informant on multiple occasions. On Aug. 14, police had a warrant and searched 24 W. 5th Ave. in Coatesville.
Law enforcement seized large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and various prescription pills, with an estimated street value of $11,500. In addition, police seized drug paraphernalia related to possessing controlled substances with the intent to manufacture and distribute including packaging materials, digital scales, and metal pots and pans with suspected cocaine residue on them, according to the criminal complaint.
A Ruger 9mm firearm and $5,346 were also recovered at the residence. In addition, police seized clothing and other paraphernalia indicating membership to the Thunderguard Motorcycle Club, an outlaw motorcycle gang based in Wilmington, Del.
A second search warrant was executed on Aug. 14, at 214 Andrew Road in Coatesville, after police obtained new information. Police seized additional quantities of cocaine and additional drug paraphernalia, a Cobra Shadow .38 special revolver, a Colt Challenger .22 caliber handgun and $48,950 in cash. An additional $8,875.85 was recovered from Cole’s bank account, the criminal complaint said.
On Aug. 16, police confirmed that the Ruger 9mm firearm recovered from the defendant’s residence had been reported stolen. The defendant is not legally permitted to possess any firearm.
The City of Coatesville Police Chief Jack Laufer stated, “We would like to thank the Chester County Detectives and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this investigation. Working jointly and leveraging investigative cooperation between our agencies ensures that the citizens of Coatesville and Chester County are receiving the best law enforcement services available. Our agency is proud to say that we do not ‘police our community as much
as we partner with it.'”
The defendant was taken into police custody on Aug. 14, 2020, and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Marian Vito, who set bail at $75,000 cash. He was charged separately on Aug. 16 with receiving stolen property, related to the Ruger 9mm.
Magisterial District Judge Grover Koon set bail at $250,000 unsecured bail.
The defendant was remanded to Chester County Prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Aug. 31 for both cases.