Police arrest alleged heroin trafficker

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Allegedly operated out of Route 82 barbershop in Coatesville

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

HeroinCOATESVILLE — City police say they’ve put a stop to a heroin and crack cocaine trafficker, allegedly operating out of a West Side barber shop, making an arrest Tuesday and executing search warrants in multiple locations.

Police, working with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Caln Township Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police as well as members of the Chester County Drug Task Force, wrapped up a lengthy investigation with the arrest of Anthony “Leem” Skelton, 50, of Caln.

Police said that Skelton was providing “dozens” of people in the city and in local suburban towns in the immediate area. 

Skelton is charged with possession of what police described as a “large” amount of heroin, after having been stopped by police reportedly en route between Philadelphia and Coatesville. Police said Skelton also was in possession of two guns and approximately $20,000.

Search warrants were executed at Skelton’s barber shop on Strode Avenue (Route 82), late Tuesday afternoon — multiple police units were observed at the scene and it appeared at least one individual was handcuffed to a barber chair during the search, eyewitnesses said. No other arrests were announced.

A search at Skelton’s home in Caln, police said, resulted in allegedly finding fentanyl, a narcotic often used as an anesthetic, but also in the drug trade used to boost the initial effect of heroin.

While fentanyl can boost the effect of heroin, it also can make the drug more dangerous — leading to a number of recent overdoses — a deadly trend in the northeast in the last few years.

Police said Skelton also was in possession of two guns and approximately $20,000.

Skelton was remanded to custody of the Chester County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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