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Feds Won’t Name Virgin Islander Implicated In Massive Rock City To Detroit Heroin/Cocaine Ring


WANTED: Todd Kenney in Pittsburgh

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A federal drug investigation that began last year in Pittsburgh has revealed a trafficking network shipping cocaine from the Virgin Islands to Detroit and a related heroin ring in Detroit distributing the narcotic in Pittsburgh, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

Teams of agents began rounding up suspects earlier this month in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The lone Virgin Islander implicated in the massive STT to DTW heroin-cocaine drug ring has not yet been named by the U.S. Department of Justice as the V.I. Freep went to press this afternoon.

Fourteen people were named in four indictments handed up under seal on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. The cases were unsealed September 2.

Law officers had arrested 12 of the 14 and were looking for one more, Todd Kenney, 27, of Pittsburgh. Anyone who knows where he is now is asked to contact the FBI at (412) 432-4000.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said the interconnected drug rings were dismantled by federal and local law enforcement under the direction of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Numerous agencies were involved, including local police and FBI agents in Pittsburgh, the Virgin Islands, Detroit, Cleveland, New York and Atlanta. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also assisted.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton said the case was based on wiretaps, controlled buys and other techniques and established the existence of overlapping drug operations.

Details in the indictments were sparse and the defendants had yet to secure lawyers as of Friday. Most were hauled into U.S. District Court on Thursday and were being held pending detention hearings, when more information is often revealed as prosecutors seek to hold defendants for trial.

The investigation began with Clinton Robinson, 31, of in Sheraden, Pa.

“While our focus began in early 2015 on the Clinton Robinson drug trafficking organization operating on Pittsburgh’s North Side,” Hickton said, “we have since been able to track the drug suppliers beyond the borders of our own district and across the Caribbean Sea.”

Robinson, a felon, and six others are charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

The other Pittsburgh defendants, all charged in connection with heroin distribution, are:

Ronelle Lane, 35, of Oakland, Pa.; brothers Derrein Robinson, 33, and Dion Robinson, 27, who live in Marshall-Shadeland, Pa.; Raheem Buchanan, 32, of Garfield, Pa.; Lamont Butler, 45, of Munhall, Pa.; and Kelvin Ferguson, 29, and Regina Brown, 28, of Garfield, Pa..

The others from the U.S. mainland are: Vanier Murraine, 33, of Ferndale, Mich.; Victor Burnett Jr., 36, of Oak Park, Mich.; Christopher Butler, 29, of Twinsburg, Ohio; Frank Williams, 27, of Detroit; and Drue Williams III, 35, of Cleveland.

The U.S. Attorney’s office would not comment on the part of the case involving cocaine distribution from the U.S. Virgin Islands except to say the investigation is continuing.


INVESTIGATION’S UNDERWAY: The FBI began rounding up suspects in the heroin ring at the beginning of the month.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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