CHESTER -- Two weeks ago, Brian Mack told a group of 45 people at a crime forum that he was a good person, not the guy involved in what police said was a drug battle between five neighborhood groups.
But the 27-year-old Chester man was arrested early Friday after police say they caught him making and selling crack out of his home in the Gayle Mill area.
Mack was arrested on charges of manufacturing crack, distributing crack and possessing crack with the intent to distribute the drug. He also was charged with a weapons violation -- being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm -- after drug agents say they found a handgun under his bed.
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Mack told authorities Friday that he had been out of work since he was injured in a drive-by shooting and was selling crack to bring in some cash, said Detective Scott Thompson of the Chester County Sheriff's Office.
But Mack hobbled to a small Chester church two weeks ago to clear his name.
"I'm not a gang member," he told those who came searching for solutions to a drug battle. Mack argued that media reports inaccurately described him as part of that world.
"I'm a loving and delightful person," he said then.
Some of the cops who heard that proclamation were stunned, as they knew of Mack's lengthy criminal history, which includes convictions on drug and arson charges.
But they weren't surprised Friday morning when Mack and four others were arrested after police raided several homes.
"People can get up and say whatever they want to say," Thompson said. "Sooner or later, it was going to come out."
All of those arrested are from Chester and accused of drug charges; they are:
• Earl Glenn Jr, 26, was charged with possession with intent to distribute crack, trafficking cocaine, distributing crack and manufacturing crack;
• Quinton Feaster Jr., 29, was charged with distributing marijuana;
• Chris Clawson, 19, was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and distributing marijuana;
• Crystal Feaster, 21, was charged with simple possession of marijuana.
Thompson said Mack moved his drug-dealing operation from the Brooklyn side of Chester to the Gayle Mill area. When he was arrested, Mack was out on bond for charges ranging from crack distribution to assault and battery with intent to kill, Thompson said.
Mack's case highlights a problem that frustrates county law enforcement, Thompson said. Police arrest the same people over and over because their cases never go to court, an issue stemming from a case backlog.
"We need there to be some consequences," Thompson said.
All five of those arrested were being held Friday at the Chester County Detention Center.