CLEARFIELD – A Madera man was given a lengthy state prison sentence for selling cocaine Monday in Clearfield County Court.
Todd Mequim Anderson, 46, pleaded guilty to four counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-cocaine, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility and dealing in proceeds of illegal activities.
Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to a total of eight to 16 years in state prison.
According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, Anderson was identified as the ring leader and as the one who was bringing cocaine into Clearfield from Beaver County.
The activity involved his wife, Catherine Anderson, her brother, Robert Gavlak II, 27, of Houtzdale, his mother-in-law, Pamela Gavlak, 51, of Houtzdale and his uncle, Leroy Bryant, 37, of Osceola Mills.
The individuals were identified after a series of controlled drug purchases from this family. Investigators seized more than 70 grams of cocaine, $2,750 in cash and drug paraphernalia through raids in Houtzdale in March of 2017 and Philipsburg in June.
Prior to sentencing, Anderson’s attorney, Stephen Colafella, argued that prior to this, Anderson was a model citizen.
Even though his town of Beaver Falls was “riddled with crime,” it wasn’t until he moved to Clearfield County that he became involved with criminal activity when he couldn’t find a job, he said.
“It was just a few people and not a drug organization,” Colafella said.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard, who was representing the Commonwealth, stated that Clearfield County doesn’t have “home grown drug dealers” and asked the judge to give a long sentence as a “deterrent to others who would come here to sell drugs.”
Leonard added that Anderson was selling cocaine for almost a year before he was arrested.
In the original press release, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “This drug ring was selling more than $10,000 of cocaine a month – pumping their poison into Clearfield and surrounding communities”.
“People in Clearfield County are fed up. We hear them and we’re taking action. This family of cocaine dealers is shut down.”
Last week a trial for Pamela Gavlak was postponed due to the health issues of a key witness. Cases against the rest of those allegedly involved with this drug ring are still pending.