A SECURITY GUARD at Philadelphia International Airport is not flying high this week after he was busted in north-central Pennsylvania on Sunday for selling heroin, according to state police.
Damien Shaun Hartsfield, 29, of the 1900 block of Titan Street in Point Breeze, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, and related offenses after, police said, he was arrested during a drug deal at a grocery store parking lot in Lycoming County, more than 172 miles from his home.
Airport spokeswoman Diane Gerace confirmed that Hartsfield was employed by Scotlandyard Security, one of the guard services with which the airport has a contract. Gerace said she did not know where Hartsfield was typically stationed around the airport, and a Scotlandyard spokesman did not return a request for comment.
"Since we have confirmed the report of the arrest, his airport access has been terminated, as per our rules and regulations," Gerace said.
According to the affidavit in Hartsfield's case, state police in Montoursville received a tip from a narcotics investigator that the parking lot of the Surplus Outlet supermarket on Route 15 in Clinton Township was being used for drug transactions.
"He related that the heroin dealers have more than one customer arrive and park in the lot, and then the dealer will come and distribute the heroin all in one location to multiple buyers," the affidavit read. "He further advised that the heroin dealers are often times b/m's [black males] from Philadelphia operating rental vehicles with out-of-state registration."
On Sunday, troopers set up surveillance at the Family Dollar parking lot next door to the supermarket and saw a couple in a BMW and two females in a van pull into the lot separately and wait in their vehicles.
Around 5:30 p.m., a white Ford Explorer with Florida plates pulled into the Family Dollar lot and drove over to the Surplus Outlet lot. Police said that as soon as the Explorer passed the van and the BMW, both vehicles pulled out, "nearly striking one another," and followed the Explorer to the grocery store parking lot, where they were parked on either side of the SUV.
The investigating trooper said he then saw "multiple drug transactions," and when all three vehicles tried to leave, he blocked the Explorer, which was driven by Hartsfield, according to the affidavit. The other drivers were also stopped.
In the affidavit, police said they confiscated $3,500 in cash from Hartsfield and a cellphone. What's not detailed in the affidavit is how much heroin troopers allegedly found on him. Multiple requests for comment to the state police barracks in Montoursville were not returned Tuesday, but an article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette quoted police as saying that Hartsfield had 650 bags of heroin on him when he was arrested.
According to that article, Hartsfield remains at the Lycoming County Prison on $500,000 bail.
A woman who answered a cellphone number listed for Hartsfield on Tuesday confirmed it was his number but said he wasn't available to talk. When asked if he was imprisoned in Lycoming County, the woman hung up.
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