Archive for category Allentown

When Allentown Fairgrounds gave World War I ambulance crews their start

Organizers of the Great Allentown Fair are commemorating 100 years since the grounds became Camp Crane, 1917 to 1919.

A string of success for the Great Allentown Fair hit a…

Fugitive who was part of Facebook sneaker robbery is arrested

Northampton County sheriff’s deputies and others take two men into custody on state parole violation warrants.

A man who participated in a robbery tied to a sneaker sale arranged on Facebook and another man who pleaded guilty to a drug crime were arrested Tuesday morning in Allentown on Pennsylvania parole violation warrants.

The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Warrants Division, Pennsylvania State Parole agents and Allentown police served the warrants at two city locations to make the arrests, sheriff’s department Sgt. Michael Orchulli said.

Javon Gordon, 21, was picked up at 551 Mohawk St., Orchulli said. Alex Ali, 28, was arrested at 40 N. 12th St., Orchulli added. Both were taken to Lehigh County Prison.

Facebook sneaker sale ends with robbery

Gordon was on parole after a 16-month to five-year sentence from a Sept. 20, 2015, robbery that began when a 15-year-old agreed with another teenager to buy three pairs of Jordan sneakers and other items in Allentown, police said at the time. Gordon and another teen accompanied the 15-year-old and Gordon pulled the victim to the ground while the 15-year-old pointed a gun, police said.

Instead of buying sneakers, the trio took them and a Mongoose bicycle, an Under Armor bag, three Gucci belts, two hats and a Droid phone, police said.

Gordon pleaded guilty on March 26, 2016, to robbery and conspiracy, but records show he was paroled well short of serving his full sentence.

Court papers don’t show how Gordon violated parole.

Drug probe yields heroin arrest

Ali was arrested in March 2016 during a Moore Township police narcotics operation, police said at the time.

Alex Ali.jpegAlex Ali. (Courtesy photo | For lehighvalleylive.com)

Officers knew he was wanted on a parole violation tied to previous drug crimes so when they saw him March 19 in the first block of Woodsdale Court in the Hickory Hills mobile home development, they took him into custody, they said.

When searched, it was learned he had 30 individually wrapped packets of heroin in a pack of cigarettes, police said.

He was paroled Jan. 21 of this year, records show. Orchulli didn’t specify the nature of the parole violation, but Ali owed $2,333.99 in court fees and fines and hadn’t made any payments, records show.

Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

What’s the Hold Up in the Fed Ed Case?

Allentown’s former Managing Director, Francis Dougherty, is the latest domino to fall in a federal public corruption investigation aimed at Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski, otherwise known as Public Official No.3. But he himself has thus far eluded prosecution, even though his own attorney has stated an indictment is imminent. Why?  Is this because it was all just a misunderstanding, as Fed Ed and a few of his fellow travelers would have you believe? From what I’m told, the FBI has concluded its investigation, and this matter is in the hands of the US Attorney’s Office. So what’s happening?

First, the US Attorney himself has resigned, though there are about 130 career prosecutors in that office and an Acting US Attorney to approve any prosecution. Second, the prosecutor originally assigned to this case resigned to run for Philadelphia DA. Third, the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell, which invalidated the prosecution of Virginia’s ex-Governor for honest services fraud, undoubtedly forced prosecutors to re-evaluate the case. Fourth, the US Attorney’s Office in both the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pa. have had their heads handed to them in two high-profile public corruption cases. Fifth, if they are filing racketeering charges like they did against former Congressman Chaka Fattah, they need approval from the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Department of Justice, which can take time. Sixth, they were likely reluctant to seek a prosecution right before the Mayoral primary, although that decision itself interfered with the election in a very negative way. Seventh, they are governed by a statute of limitations and nothing else. They are under no obligation to file charges until the statute is about to run. That’s five years.  

When this investigation first became public, Fed Ed was a wreck.Some thought he might commit suicide and he lost a lot of weight. But as time has gone by, he’s rebounded, as demonstrated by his weight returning and his bully tactics against both an Allentown firefighter and community activist Eugene McDuffie. He has gone from being scared to denial.

While I do expect to see him indicted soon, and Dem party bosses are looking for a replacement candidate.But he won’t resign. He will have to dragged out of office, kicking and screaming. Seven lives have been shattered by this ordeal. Count on seeing their sentencing delayed yet again. Here’s the current schedule before Judge Juan R. Sánchez in Philadelphia:

Mary Ellen Koval, May 31, 10am
Matthew McTish – May 31, 2pm
Garrett Strathearn -June 1, 11am
Ramzi Haddad – June 12, 2pm
DaleWiles, June 13, 10am
Michael Fleck – June 13, 2pm
Francis Dougherty – June 27, 9am

Allentown police looking for driver who hit, dragged bicycle rider

Anyone with information is asked to call the traffic unit at 610-437-7731 or to use the free Tip411 app.

Allentown police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver inv…

Northampton County Top 10 fugitive arrested in Allentown

She had been on the lam since 2012.

One of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department’s Top 10 most wanted fugitives is back behind bars.
Nydia Tirado. (Courtesy photo | Fo…

Judge: Gang member’s robbery, assault in Downtown Allentown was for ‘sport’

The judge said the member of the Santana Blocc Crips is someone the public “should be afraid of.”

A reported member of the Santana Blocc Crips had nothing to say to a judge before being sentenced on Tuesday, but video of one of his attacks in Allentown did all the talking.

The random victim, a 13-year-old boy, is seen April 13, 2016, walking down Church Street, near Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown.

Jahron Morales, in a blue hooded sweatshirt, and an accomplice, in dark clothing, are shown in the video running down the alley behind the victim, when Morales uses something to hit the victim in the head, knocking the boy to the ground.

Morales secures something in his pants, before looking through the victim’s pockets. The pair of robbers run away in one direction, and the victim gets up and flees in another direction.

Morales denied having a weapon, but Chief Deputy District Attorney Bethany Zapogna said the victim reported being hit in the head with something metal, and believed it was a handgun.

About an hour after that attack, Morales and a number of his friends approached two 15-year-old boys as they walked in Valania Park in the 500 block of Union Street, and robbed one of them.

Morales was 18 at the time of the crimes, and is 19 now.

After seeing the video and numerous photos of Morales’ reported gang affiliations, Judge Kelly Banach sentenced him to two to 10 years in state prison on two counts of robbery.

No outfit change for robber between probation meeting, armed crimes, cops say

Allentown police officer Nicholas Lerch, who is with the gang task force, testified on Tuesday that Morales is a confirmed member of the Santana Blocc Crips.

Photos on Facebook show Morales with other gang members and him giving the gang’s “C” hand sign; Morales admitted to being a SBC member to his probation officer; Morales told a detective he was “jumped in” to the gang; and other gang members identified Morales as being part of the Santana Blocc Crips, Lerch said.

Prosecutors said the photos show Morales with other confirmed gang members, including Tai-Jon Edwards and Marcus McCrae. One photo, taken in the county jail visitation room while Morales awaited trial in his cases, shows Morales and Edwards flashing the “C” gang sign.

A day after Morales’ robberies, Edwards and McCrae were part of a group that tried to steal a hoverboard, but were shot at before the car they fled in crashed.

Edwards pleaded no contest to robbery in that case and was sentenced to 1-and-a-half years to five years in state prison. McCrae pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to 3-and-a-half to 12 years in state prison.

Jail officials also found documents in Morales’ cell with “Santana Blocc Crips” written on it.

Zampogna said the documents used the terms “opps,” which means cops. Morales told the judge the term “opps” meant opposition. The judge asked Morales to spell opposition; he could not.

Morales was wearing a pink prison jumpsuit on Tuesday, signifying a number of misconducts he has had in county jail.

Morales was on probation at the time of the robberies and, in fact, was wearing the same clothing during the crimes that he wore to a meeting with his probation officer earlier that day.

“I’m not sure what the system can do for him,” Zampogna said.

This was Morales’ third robbery. He was adjudicated delinquent for a 2015 robbery, where Morales attacked a random girl walking home and stole her phone, the prosecutor said.

“He hasn’t changed at all. In fact, he’s gotten worse,” Zampogna said. “These victims need to be protected, the streets need to be protected from people like this defendant.”

Banach asked if Morales knew the victims, and he said he did not.

“Then it is sport. Then it is just for something to do,” the judge said. “You’ve ruined your life. You know that. You ruined it.”

Banach asked how Morales would be able to get a job after serving his time, with three robberies under his belt.

“You’re a person who is now someone we should be afraid of,” the judge said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

 

Meanwhile … in the People’s Republic of Allentown

From Local 302: Ladder Truck #1 out of service out of the city for repairs. Ladder Truck #2 Out of Service broke down on a call. Engine 11 a 75′ quint acting as the Aerial truck. The City is growing and reliable fire trucks are a must. This again highl…

Gun-wielding robber fatally shot by Allentown police identified

The robber shot a pharmacy clerk in the Sunday morning robbery and fled officers, police said.

Authorities have identified the man they say robbed Whitehall Pharmacy and sho…

Body found under Allentown bridge, report says

The body was discovered sometime Sunday afternoon by city police.

 
Police are investigating a body found underneath the Linden Street bridge, according to a published repor…

Motorcyclist high on meth during East Allen Twp. crash, cops say

The driver was injured in the crash and taken to an area hospital, police said.

Joseph MocniakCourtesy photo 
An Allentown man used methamphetamine about an hour prior …