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Leaders of Upper Bucks Heroin Ring Plead Guilty; 3 Sentenced

January 5, 2018

Contact: David A. Keightly Jr., 215.348.6342, dakeightly@buckscounty.org

Sheamus McCarthy Casey McCarthy Kenneth Delp 
    Sheamus McCarthy           Casey McCarthy                Kenneth Delp

Thomas McCarthy
     Thomas McCarthy

Three brothers and an associate who led an illicit drug network that left the Quakertown area awash with heroin pleaded guilty to multiple felonies today in Bucks County Common Pleas Court.

Three struck plea agreements resulting in substantial state prison sentences, while the fourth will be sentenced later this month.

Sheamus McCarthy, Casey McCarthy and Thomas McCarthy – all originally from Richland Township – and Kenneth Delp of Richlandtown were the last of 14 defendants in the case to admit their guilt.

The organization, headed primarily by Sheamus and Casey McCarthy, delivered up to 2,800 individual bags of heroin per week from Philadelphia to Upper Bucks County, prosecutors said, where annual sales approached $1 million.

Thomas McCarthy had a leading role when the ring began in 2013, but quickly branched out on his own, running a much smaller, solo enterprise, Deputy District Attorney David A. Keightly Jr. said.

In 2016, during the final months of the organization, Delp took over after Sheamus McCarthy was jailed on other criminal matters, Keightly said.

According to a Bucks County investigating grand jury presentment released early last year, the drug organization’s crimes “led to widespread addiction amongst young citizens of the Quakertown area,” caused numerous overdoses and endangered many lives, all while reaping large profits. At least two people who were customers of the organization died of overdoses, the presentment said.

Sheamus McCarthy, 28, received a negotiated sentence of nine and one-half to 20 years in state prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, possession with intent to deliver heroin, conspiracy to deliver heroin, and recklessly endangering another person.

“I’m not proud of my actions,” he told Judge Diane E. Gibbons before she accepted and imposed the negotiated sentence. “I apologize to my family. I apologize to the community … I apologize to everyone who has followed my lead.”

McCarthy said he “never intended to do the harm that I’ve done … I’ve seen the damage that has been done and I apologize.”

His was the most severe sentence in the case to date. Two Philadelphia men who admitted supplying the ring with heroin pleaded guilty last month and were ordered to serve nine to 20 years and eight to 20 years, respectively.

According to the grand jury presentment, Sheamus McCarthy “was known around town as not only a high-level drug dealer, but someone who others described as an enforcer-type, involved in fights and acts of violence. He was considered the `mastermind of the organization’ while Casey McCarthy frequently made trips to Philadelphia to acquire the heroin to be distributed to heroin dealers who would in turn sell the heroin to users.”

Casey McCarthy, 22, did not enter into a plea agreement. Appearing before Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. in a different courtroom, he entered an open guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, delivery of heroin, conspiracy to deliver heroin, and recklessly endangering another person. Bateman deferred sentencing until Jan. 26.

Delp, 27, received a negotiated sentence of seven and one-half to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to the same charges as Casey McCarthy. A married pipefitter with five young children, he told Gibbons he had struggled with cocaine addiction and bipolar disorder, and that he had used his illegal proceeds to support his family.

“I truly feel awful about it,” he said, referring to the impact of his crimes on his family, addicts’ families and the community. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to take the road I’ve taken.”

Thomas McCarthy, 26, received a negotiated sentence of four years and nine months to 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty to delivery of heroin, conspiracy to deliver heroin and recklessly endangering another person.

He told Gibbons that he was a few credits short of a two-year degree in accounting, but became addicted to heroin at age 23, and had a 30-bag per day habit during the time he was dealing.

Keightly said that Thomas McCarthy had only a brief leadership role in his brothers’ heroin ring at the outset, but that he continued to independently sell smaller amounts of heroin that he obtained in Philadelphia and Allentown.

Thomas McCarthy told Gibbons that he “sold my soul” when he started dealing heroin to support his habit. “I got lost in my addiction and didn’t understand the evil that the drug truly was,” he said.

He said he finally went to his parents for help, spent time in a drug rehab program and a recovery house, and that he had been drug-free for more than a year before his arrest.

All three brothers grew up in a Richland Township family that runs a successful masonry and concrete business. Their parents, siblings and other relatives packed one side of Gibbons’ courtroom in support of them.

“I could hear their hearts breaking from here,” the judge told the two brothers before her. “You broke their hearts.”

“You are going to be here to re-establish these relationships,” Gibbons told the defendants. “I am not being overly dramatic when I say there are countless people who are not going to be able to lay their eyes on their loved ones again because of your conduct.”

Gibbons said she would recommend that each defendant, while in prison, be educated about and exposed to the damage done by the heroin they sold, including detailed information about the number of overdoses and deaths caused by heroin across Pennsylvania.

Keightly said the plea agreements were based on state sentencing guidelines and numerous other factors specific to each defendant.

Six of the 14 defendants involved in the McCarthy drug ring have now been sentenced. In addition to Casey McCarthy, seven others are awaiting sentencing, mostly middle- and lower-level members of the organization.

The case was investigated primarily by the Quakertown Borough Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives, and is being prosecuted by Keightly and Assistant District Attorney Jovin Jose.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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