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Delaware county CID detectives honored

Today District Attorney Jack Whelan announced detectives from Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and officers from the Brookhaven Police Department were honored by the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work on a joint operation that led the arrest of 20 individuals and the dismantlement of the “Gangsta Goorealahs” organization. Other members of the joint operation include detectives from the Philadelphia and Abington Police Departments.

On April 20, 2012, the Citizens Bank at 5001 Edgemont Avenue, Brookhaven, was robbed by a lone black male wearing female Muslim garb. The offender handed a teller a demand note, and, after receiving the money, fled the bank and got into a white Chevy Impala.

Brookhaven Police Officer Benjamin Kyler was on patrol in the bank parking lot, and observed an individual wearing black female Muslim garb exit the bank and get into the passenger side of a white Chevy Impala.  Officer Timothy Habich and other Brookhaven Police Officers located the vehicle and attempted to stop it. As the officers approached, the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed. Brookhaven Police Officers continued their pursuit, until they were able to get the vehicle stopped and apprehend the offenders.

The two offenders were identified as Christopher McDaniels and Ali Morris. McDaniels waived his Miranda rights and provided a full confession to Delaware County CID Detectives John Hoffner and Lawrence Patterson. Brookhaven Police Officer Gregory Martin secured both prisoners overnight. Delaware County CID Detectives Thomas Scarpato and Robert Fuss, and their colleague, Sergeant Scott Bireley, conducted a search warrant on the Chevrolet Impala. They recovered the money from the robbery, and blue latex gloves worn by McDaniels. The gloves were submitted to the lab for analysis, which resulted in a match to McDaniels’ DNA.

Philadelphia Police Detective Kurt Wilson conducted video analysis of pattern Muslim-garb bank robberies, and helped to determine that McDaniels was involved in seven similar bank robberies in the region. McDaniels was later identified as having ties to an organized group calling themselves the “Gangsta Goorealahs.”

This organization was involved in home invasion robberies, Muslim-garb bank robberies, drug distribution, shootings, and homicides in Philadelphia and surrounding communities – including an Abington home invasion investigation. Lead Abington Detective Lisa Burton discovered critical information that furthered the “Gangsta Goorealahs” investigation.

“As a result of the dedicated efforts of these officers and detectives, a total of 16 individuals were indicted on various federal cases and another 20 were arrested on local cases,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “This was outstanding police work by outstanding Delaware County police officers and detectives. I commend and congratulate them on this prestigious and well-deserved recognition.”

Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division, presented the following individuals with awards of commendation:

* Sergeant Scott Bireley, Delaware County CID
* Detective John Hoffner, Delaware County CID
* Detective Lawrence Patterson, Delaware County CID
* Detective Thomas Scarpato, Delaware County CID
* Detective Robert Fuss, Delaware County CID
* Officer Benjamin Kyler, Brookhaven Police Department
* Officer Timothy Habich, Brookhaven Police Department
* Officer Gregory Martin, Brookhaven Police Department
* Detective Kurt Wilson, Philadelphia Police Department
* Detective Lisa Burton, Abington Police Department