Friday, November 27, 2015

Pa. heroin ring bust nets 10

Pennsylvania Attorney General
Gallery: Pa. heroin ring bust nets 10

Police arrested 10 people for drug possession and distribution offenses, marking the second phase in the dismantling of a heroin ring operating in Centre and Lycoming counties, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug network was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges.

The grand jury found a New York heroin and cocaine source was living in Pleasant Gap and using residents to make drug deliveries in the State College and Williamsport areas, according to prosecutors. Investigators said agents used court-ordered wiretaps to determine area users and dealers were also getting heroin from contacts in Philadelphia and Williamsport.

The grand jury found the suspects allegedly used various codes to identify the drugs, including “down” for heroin, “up” for cocaine and “bun” or “bunny rabbit” for a bundle of heroin, which equals 10 bags.

The investigation into the bulk heroin trafficking began in March 2012. In addition to the most recent arrests, nine people were taken into custody in March 2013. Prosecutors said Thursday the investigation remained ongoing and more arrests were anticipated.

Kane said in a release the arrests do not appear to be related to the recent rash of heroin overdose deaths in Western Pennsylvania, which have been connected to drugs laced with the powerful opiate painkiller fentanyl. The tainted heroin is estimated to have claimed at least 22 lives within the space of a week last month.

Still, Kane said the arrests “are indicative of the very real threat heroin poses in rural communities across the Commonwealth.”

All 10 cases will be prosecuted in Centre County by senior deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Anyone with drug-related information is asked to call the Centre County Drug Tip Task Force Hotline at 1-877-898-3784.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Also on
letter icon Newsletter