Vontez Scales, 29, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to 320 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine by United States District Judge Mark A. Kearney for his leadership role in a large-scale drug trafficking ring, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said Aug. 4.
Following a lengthy investigation in 2018, including a series of court-ordered wiretaps, the defendant and his co-conspirators were charged by Indictment with multiple drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute narcotics and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
The case was investigated by the Bucks County Detective Bureau and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Scales was a member of the “Skipworth” drug trafficking organization, which sold bulk quantities of crystal methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine worth millions of dollars in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburban counties.
Scales’ co-conspirators, Damir Skipworth, the group’s ring leader; Jarrett Cobb and Tyrone Smith all previously pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking charges in this case and received significant prison sentences.
In December 2019, Scales was convicted at trial of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, arising from his sales and purchases of large quantities of drugs to and from co-conspirators.
Scales used the cash proceeds from his illegal drug dealing for things like car rentals, hotels and luxury clothing, including purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue of over $28,000.
Scales was convicted twice before of drug trafficking, and each time received a lengthy prison term.
“Scales and his co-conspirators pumped huge quantities of deadly, addictive drugs into Philadelphia and its suburbs,” said McSwain.
“By conducting millions of dollars of business in meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, the Skipworth drug trafficking organization was a blight on all of southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the DEA and the Bucks County Drug Strike Force, this criminal organization’s doors have been shut for good.”