U.s. Grand Jury Accuses 9 Phila. Men Of Operating Drug Labs Federal Agents Seized About $400,000 In Cash And 4.2 Pounds Of Meth While Making Arrests.

Posted: November 20, 1998

Nine Philadelphia men were accused by a federal grand jury yesterday of operating drug labs in Kensington and Port Richmond that shipped more than 250 pounds of methamphetamine to traffickers across the East Coast since 1993.

U.S. Attorney Michael R. Stiles said that, in arresting eight of the nine suspects yesterday, agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized about $400,000 in cash and 4.2 pounds of the illegal stimulant from houses in lower Northeast neighborhoods.

Stiles said those arrested had ties to a major meth laboratory that had been broken up last year in Dover, Del., and had sold methamphetamine to the Chester County chapter of the Pagans motorcycle club.

Members of the Chester County Pagans were indicted earlier this year on charges of selling meth and cocaine in the outer suburbs of Chester, Berks and Lancaster Counties, including to several Amish youth groups.

Four of those indicted yesterday are members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Warlocks motorcycle club. They include Thomas J. Zaroff Sr., 55, of the 3000 block of Janney Street in Port Richmond, who prosecutors said is a former Warlocks president and led the methamphetamine organization.

Indicted with Zaroff were Warlocks members Francis Taimanglo, 44, of the 6600 block of Vandike Street, Tacony; Edward Cunningham, 51, of the 4200 block of Mill Street, Holmesburg; and Dennis J. Ayres, 42, of the 6500 block of Torresdale Avenue, Tacony.

Also indicted with Zaroff were Benjamin James Staab, 44, of the 1300 block of Crease Street, Fishtown; Adolph Principale, 47, of the 9500 block of Torresdale Avenue, East Torresdale; and Ronald Lucier, 35, of the 400 block of Maple Avenue, Somerton. Lucier was identified as the one who allegedly sold methamphetamine to the Chester County Pagans.

Two other alleged methamphetamine traffickers were indicted separately.

Thomas Fiet, 45, of the 8000 block of Crispin Street in Holmesburg, was charged with operating a drug ring that produced and sold more than 200 pounds of meth since 1994.

Dale Adams, 42, of the 1900 block of Solly Avenue, Rhawnhurst, a former police officer in Lower Southampton, Bucks County, was charged with distribution of cocaine and distribution of methamphetamine during the first half of 1997 in Bensalem and the city. At that time, the indictment alleges, Adams was still a Lower Southampton officer, though on disability.

All the suspects but Ayres were arrested yesterday, and a federal magistrate judge ordered them held pending bail hearings next week.

Yesterday's indictment alleges that Steven Alexander, 56, a former Philadelphia police officer, cooked methamphetamine for Zaroff and other drug rings. Alexander disappeared in April. His severed arm was later found by a homeless man rooting through a Trenton trash bin. No arrests have been made in the slaying.

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