United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that David Cooper, 47, of Reading, PA, was sentenced to 32 years in prison, eight years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $2,000 fine by United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. for organizing and directing a prolific drug gang from his home located outside of Reading in Muhlenberg Township.
In September 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty just before trial to charges including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and cocaine base (“crack”); possession with intent to distribute narcotics; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The charges stem from Cooper’s role in leading a drug trafficking organization which supplied large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, and cocaine base to other drug dealers and drug users in Pottstown, Allentown, and the surrounding communities.
During the investigation into Cooper’s organization, detectives received permission to install court-ordered wiretaps on phones used by the defendant. Using extensive surveillance and the intercepted telephone calls, Montgomery County Detectives and FBI agents arrested the defendant as he attempted to resupply his organization with 200 grams of fentanyl, enough for more than six thousand individual doses. Investigators also seized narcotics, drug packaging materials, and a firearm. During the same operation, Cooper’s drug customer Comese Robinson, of Pottstown, PA, was also arrested and later convicted of similar charges in Montgomery County Court. Robinson was sentenced in December 2021 to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison. Additionally, Cooper’s supplier, Miguel Figueroa, Jr., also of Reading, PA, was convicted of similar charges in Montgomery County Court and was sentenced to 18 to 40 years in state prison, and Cooper’s federal co-defendant, Edwin Andino, 39, of Allentown, PA, was also convicted of similar charges and sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.
“This case is an excellent example of all levels of law enforcement collaborating to dismantle a dangerous drug trafficking operation putting deadly narcotics on streets all across the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Cooper personally threatened the safety of his neighbors in Reading, and all communities in our District, through his dangerous and illegal actions, for which he will now spend over three decades behind bars.”
“Illegal drugs continue to kill thousands of people every year,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “The FBI shares concern over this serious problem with our federal and local law enforcement partners, and we vow to the communities we serve that we will continue to track down the criminals who are reaping monetary rewards by pushing potentially deadly drugs on the streets of our neighborhoods.
“We are pleased to see David Cooper sentenced for his role in flooding Montgomery County and surrounding areas with large quantities of deadly drugs, including fentanyl,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele. “The investigation began with concerned citizen reports and ended after a lengthy investigation in the arrest of Cooper and more than two dozen others. Thank you to all of our local, regional, state and national partners for their efforts with this case and their ongoing commitment to ridding our communities of these deadly poisons.”
The case was investigated by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Violent Crime Unit; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI Bucks and Montgomery County Safe Streets Task Force; the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Pottstown Borough Police Department; Pennsylvania State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Berks County District Attorney’s Narcotics Enforcement Team; Lehigh County Detective Bureau; Reading City Police Department; Allentown Police Department; Muhlenberg Township Police Department; and the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program; and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher E. Parisi.