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DA: Leader of Bucks heroin ring tried to smuggle drugs into jail

Sheamus McCarthy is accused of coercing his brother and girlfriend to smuggle narcotics into the Bucks County prison.

Sheamus McCarthy, the convicted leader of a Quakertown heroin ring, faces new drug charges.
Sheamus McCarthy, the convicted leader of a Quakertown heroin ring, faces new drug charges.Read moreCourtesy Bucks County District Attorney's office

Jailed for his role in leading a massive multimillion-dollar heroin ring in upper Bucks County, Sheamus McCarthy tried to restart his empire behind bars, authorities said.

McCarthy, 29, asked his brother and girlfriend to smuggle narcotics to him while he was locked up in the county prison, court records show. He has been charged with criminal solicitation of  contraband while in jail, attempted possession of a controlled substance by an inmate, and related offenses.  McCarthy will be arraigned on those charges Tuesday, court records show. It was unclear whether he had hired an attorney to represent him in the case.

The Quakertown native made headlines late last year, when investigators in Bucks County dismantled the 11-member drug organization he and his brother Casey led in the northern tip of the county. A grand jury investigation found that between 2013 and 2016, the brothers did almost $1 million in business each year, selling 200 to 400 bundles of heroin per week. At least two of their buyers died from overdoses, according to the grand jury.

While McCarthy was awaiting sentencing on racketeering and drug distribution charges, prison officials found "suspicious mail" he had addressed to "Britt G" and "Declan McCarthy," authorities said.

In letters to Britt G – later identified by investigators as Brittany Galluppi, McCarthy's girlfriend – he instructed her to smuggle "Flyers tickets" into him during a visit. But he wasn't suddenly interested in hockey — the term was slang for Suboxone, a narcotic used to lessen the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, authorities said.  He told Galluppi to be careful, issuing "step-by-step" instructions and telling her he could make up to $1,200 by selling the drugs in the prison, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. He promised to send her a cut of the profits, the affidavit said.

In a letter to Declan McCarthy, his younger brother, McCarthy asked for "Eagles tickets," a code phrase for the synthetic cannabinoid K2, the affidavit said. McCarthy also asked his brother to help Galluppi get "the Flyers tickets ready," it said.

Investigators compared the handwriting in both letters to other writing by McCarthy, found that it matched, and filed the additional drug charges.

McCarthy is serving a 9½- to 20-year sentence on the initial drug charges at State Correctional Institution Rockview.