Authorities identified the alleged leaders of the drug ring, which law enforcement broke up in April 2006, as Vahe Petrosyan, 33, of Broomall; Arthur Ishkhanian, 33, of Collegeville; and Levon Arakelyan, 26, of Las Vegas.
According to the 107-count indictment, Arakelyan purchased multiple-pound quantities of methamphetamine for $7,000 to $12,500 per pound from Las Vegas and California and transported it via tractor-trailer to Petrosyan and Ishkhanian for sale in Philadelphia.
In March and April of 2006, authorities seized more than $290,000 in drug proceeds from the group. Petrosyan and Ishkhanian were arrested in their homes on April 13, 2006, with a combined 11 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $200,000 in drug money. Arakelyan, found guilty of a previous conspiracy charge in May, was arrested on March 31, 2006, at the Philadelphia International Airport with more than $22,000 in alleged drug proceeds. All three men are Armenian immigrants living in the United States legally.
Meehan said in a statement: "When you consider the dangerous impact crystal meth can have on individuals and a community, we have to do everything possible to make sure that it does not take root as a major component of the drug culture in this area."
Petrosyan and Arakelyan face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and Ishkhanian faces a 20-year minimum if convicted of all charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Contact staff writer Katie Stuhldreher at 215-854-2601 or email@example.com.