Man admits role in drug ring that targeted 3 counties

NORRISTOWN – A Norristown man who authorities claim conspired with an alleged Montgomery Township drug kingpin has admitted to his role in the drug ring that targeted Montgomery, Chester and Philadelphia counties.

James “Twin” Adams, 47, of the first block of Hartranft Avenue, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred between November 2008 and May 2011.

Adams, who remains free on bail pending sentencing, potentially faces decades in prison on the charges when he’s sentenced later this year by Judge William R. Carpenter.

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With the charges, county authorities alleged Adams was associated with the corrupt organization allegedly operated by Anthony Dennis Sr., 40, of the 100 block of Thames Drive, Montgomery Township, who at the time of his arrest allegedly operated the “Heads Up” barbershop in the Wayne area of Chester County.

Dennis is slated to stand trial on drug charges later this summer.

“James Adams was one of the major players in this investigation,” alleged Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley. “He admitted to his involvement in running his side of this drug operation. His role was he was one of the major dealers in this operation. He was supplying other people and then those guys in turn were turning around and selling it for themselves.”

Adams allegedly was involved with the organization’s Norristown drug distribution area, according to authorities. In court papers, authorities alleged Adams was among the list of cocaine dealers who received his cocaine supply from Anthony Dennis and then supplied the drug to others in Norristown.

Dennis’ brother, Michael, 35, of Philadelphia, who works as a personal trainer, also was charged as an alleged conspirator in the cocaine trafficking ring.

The Dennis brothers and Adams allegedly were the three main targets of the investigation, which authorities dubbed “Operation Heads Up.”

“This was a widespread drug distribution ring, specifically cocaine, that spanned not only Montgomery County but Chester County and Philadelphia,” alleged Whalley, maintaining the investigation was significant because it dismantled a large scale illegal drug operation.

The Dennis brothers and Adams were among 27 people arrested last May in connection with their alleged involvement in the corrupt organization.

During the investigation of the Dennis brothers, simultaneous raids by 72 law enforcement officers at 21 locations in the three counties on May 18, 2011, resulted in the seizure of four pounds of cocaine with a street value of $204,800, 14 vehicles, a 19-foot-long fishing boat from a storage facility in Collegeville, more than $76,000 in cash and 12 firearms, according to authorities.

Another man, Joseph Barry Singleton, 49, of the 200 block of East Marshall Street, Norristown, pleaded guilty this month to lesser charges, specifically possession of cocaine, and was sentenced to one year of probation. With the charges, authorities alleged Singleton purchased cocaine from one of the targets involved in the drug organization.

“It’s the commonwealth’s contention and belief that he was a user. He was buying it for personal use,” Whalley alleged, referring to Singleton.

Several others previously pleaded guilty to lesser charges, some of them admitting to being drug customers.

The investigation began in November 2008 in Tredyffrin as township police and members of the Chester County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force investigated the barbershop as an alleged hub of the cocaine trafficking operation.

Authorities alleged the Dennis brothers were engaged in the sale of large quantities of cocaine to various individuals including cocaine dealers in Montgomery County.

The arrests were the culmination of a wiretap investigation into the activities of those allegedly involved in the drug ring.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews