Alleged drug dealer displayed guns, bear skulls

Police said 20-year-old Caln resident wanted to create an intimidating presence

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

The search warrant executed at a Caln Township residence in February produced the usual accoutrements of suspected drug-dealing: scales, baggies, a safe, rolls of cash worth more than $5,000, weapons, and 11 ounces of marijuana with a street value of about $2,500.

Andrew E. DiStefano, believed to be in Costa Rica, is accused of drug-dealing in Caln Township.

Investigators were taken aback, however, at some of the other discoveries, said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. After an investigation of several months, Hogan announced that drug and weapons charges were filed against the 20-year-old resident, Andrew E. DiStefano,

“When we opened up the freezer, we found a skinned animal head staring out at us,” said Hogan, speaking at a press conference. “It never ceases to amaze me what we find in drug-dealer’s homes.”

The frozen head was just one of more than a dozen animal parts police found in the residence, from which DiStefano fled after speaking with investigators months ago, Hogan said. DiStefano ended up in Costa Rica, where the owner of the home DiStefano was renting in the 2400 block of Wayne Avenue lives, Hogan said. DiStefano will be arrested “the minute he sets foot on U.S. soil,“ Hogan added.

In the meantime, Hogan said the investigation is continuing. Caln Township police, working in conjunction with the Chester County SPCA and the state Game Commission, do not yet know whether DiStefano obtained the animal parts legally. Forensic analysis performed at New Bolton Center showed that DiStefano possessed six bear skulls and four canine heads, two from domesticated dogs.

Hogan said investigators found no evidence that the skulls matched any missing dogs in the area. There was also no indication the animals had been killed, he said.

Police display items found at an alleged drug-dealer’s Caln Township resident, including rifles and animal skulls.

The purpose of the bones and teeth, some of which were painted gold, was intimidation, Hogan said. Anyone entering DiStefano’s home immediately saw items such as a machete, a piercing tool, a gilded vertebrae, and bear skulls displayed on tabletops. Hogan said DiStefano, wanted to convey a message contrary to his unimposing presence: “Hey, I’m a big scary drug dealer … don’t mess with me.”

The ruse apparently didn’t work well, Hogan said. DiStefano landed under investigators’ scrutiny after he was burglarized and police recovered some guns that were eventually traced to him. DeStefano admitted to investigators that a break-in had occurred at his home on Feb. 16 and that “he did not report this to police because it involved drugs and firearms,” the criminal complaint said.

Caln Township Police Chief Brian R. Byerly praised the cooperation among multiple agencies that resulted in the filing of charges. Then he shook his head. “In my 25-plus years … this has to be one of the most bizarre incidents I’ve ever had to deal with,” he said.

Video from today’s press conference:

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  1. Killa says:

    Good luck catching my boy Cuban. He aint coming back. And he aint “unimposing”. he was a straight gunner.

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