Pubdate: Tue, 13 Sep 2005
Source: Times Herald, The (Norristown, PA)
Copyright: 2005 The Times Herald
Author: Margaret Gibbons
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


COURTHOUSE - Ernest Scott III, the son and namesake of the former 
Norristown councilman, will get another legal crack at having his sentence 
reduced for the drug and fraud crimes he committed in connection with the 
Scott family's illicit "businesses."

Montgomery County Judge Richard J. Hodgson, acting at the direction of the 
state Superior Court, Monday resentenced Scott, 28, formerly of the 800 
block of George St., Norristown, to the same 6- to 10-year sentence he is 
now serving at the Albion state prison in Erie County.

The state Superior Court, responding to an appeal filed by Scott, had 
vacated the original sentence Hodgson had issued Scott in May 2003, asking 
Hodgson to "clarify" that sentence.

While the judge simply re-read the original sentence into the record 
Monday, the resentencing is sufficient to reinstitute all of the appeal 
processes Scott would have available following a normal sentencing.

Scott, claiming the sentence is too hefty for the crimes to which he 
pleaded guilty, repeatedly has appealed the sentence, seeking a reduction 
that would enable him to be free after serving only five years. Hodgson has 
rejected those appeals.

Scott and his older brother, 31-year-old Sean J. Scott, formerly of the 500 
block of Buchert Road, Gilbertsville, in March 2003 pleaded guilty to 
charges of drug dealing, conspiracy, fraud, corruption and related charges.

While designating the pair's father as the alleged kingpin in the illicit 
family "businesses" involving drug-trafficking and fraud, prosecutors said 
the two brothers served in positions comparable to vice presidents.

Wire taps and electronic room bugs used by authorities for the drug 
trafficking part of the operation showed that the two brothers were 
concerned about profits, putting away money and saving so that later they 
could buy expensive clothes and cars, according to authorities.

The two Scott brothers were not street-corner dealers. Instead, they sold 
to street dealers, according to authorities.

During their electronic eavesdropping, law enforcement officials said they 
heard conversations involving more than 178 pounds of marijuana while 
undercover buys and search warrants produced another 34 pounds of 
marijuana. Authorities estimated that the Scott drug ring moved about 50 
pounds of marijuana a month.

The fraud allegations involve Scott family members selling hundreds of 
falsified motor vehicle documents from the elder Scott's East Oak Street 
business, Scott Tags and Notary. These charges included sending clients to 
get falsified insurance cards in order to obtain car registrations. Scott's 
business offices also served as the communications hub for the drug 
trafficking operation, according to authorities.

The year-long investigation, which began in the spring of 2001, primarily 
focussed on drug-trafficking in the borough but, as a result of the 
electronic eavesdropping, expanded to include the fraudulent car 
registration business.

A total of 10 suspects, including five Scott family members, were arrested 
as the result of the investigation although charges subsequently were 
dropped against the former councilman's mother.

The elder Scott was sentenced to 6 1/2 to 20 years in prison while Sean 
Scott, who had a prior drug arrest, was sentenced to seven to 10 years in 

The other defendants in the case also pleaded guilty, receiving sentences 
ranging from five-year probationary sentences to prison stints of nine to 
23 months, followed by lengthy probations.
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