Ex-Heroin Ring Leader Charged with Attempting to Sell Drugs in Jail

A Richland Township man serving state prison time for running an Upper Bucks heroin ring faces new charges of trying to obtain drugs to sell while in the Bucks County jail earlier this year.

Sheamus Patrick McCarthy, 28, sent letters in January to his girlfriend and a younger brother in which he solicited them to send him Suboxone strips and synthetic marijuana, telling them he could turn a hefty profit by distributing the drugs to other inmates behind bars.

In one letter, sent in the days before McCarthy and two of his brothers admitted they had spent years flooding the Quakertown area with heroin, McCarthy gives his girlfriend detailed instructions on how to smuggle “Flyers Tickets” into the Bucks County Correctional Facility inside her body, as well as how to avoid being searched by guards, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed last week.

The “tickets” could fetch some $800-$1200 on the inside, money McCarthy said he would share with his girlfriend, the complaint says he wrote.

Meanwhile in correspondence with his brother, McCarthy sought “Eagles Tickets” and “money for the lawyer,” also referred to as “tickets,” the complaint says. He said those items should be hidden inside the binding of a book and mailed to the jail. The man also asked his brother to assist his girlfriend with smuggling the “Flyers tickets.”

Both letters were turned over by jail officials to county detectives, who understood the references to sports tickets to be code for drugs.

”Flyers tickets” stood in for Suboxone, the detectives wrote in a criminal complaint, as both the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and sublingual strips of the narcotic make prominent use of the color orange. Suboxone is a brand name for a medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone which is used to treat opioid addiction

Similarly, “Eagles tickets” refer to synthetic marijuana, which like the uniforms of the Super Bowl LII winners typically appears green in color.

The letter to McCarthy’s brother is signed “Sheamus McCarthy,” and both envelopes contain McCarthy’s information in the return address field.

Forensic scientists with a Pennsylvania State Police laboratory recently concluded that DNA samples left behind on the envelopes’ adhesive strips preliminarily matched McCarthy’s DNA profile already stored in their database. Investigators also matched the letters to McCarthy through handwriting samples.

McCarthy was charged Nov. 13 with soliciting other persons to send him contraband while in jail, attempted possession of a controlled substance by an inmate, attempted possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and related crimes.

Already serving at least 9 and a half to 20 years in state prison on the heroin trafficking case, plus two years for probation and parole violations, he is set to be arraigned next week before District Judge Mark D. Douple.

Deputy District Attorney David A. Keightly Jr. is assigned to prosecution.

Contact: David A. Keightly Jr., 215.348.6342, dakeightly@buckscounty.org