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New Details Emerging In Heroin Ring Bust

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are new details on what’s being called a gang-related heroin ring.

Court documents are linking the alleged members of the East Hills Bloods to other crimes across the area.

“There crime spree included robberies, home invasions, intimidation and killing,” said U.S. Attorney David Hickton.

Federal prosecutors say during an 18-month period, beginning in Jan. of 2010, there have been far too many violent crimes in the East Hills section of Pittsburgh.

They blame much of the problem on a group known as the East Hills Bloods or associates of gang members.

Now, 14 men – many of them alleged gang members – have been charged with violating federal narcotics or firearms laws.

“They are part of an organized group of individuals who represent, in the East Hills and Wilkinsburg community, a grave threat to public safety and to law abiding citizens,” said Hickton.

One man who lives in the East Hills, who did not what to be identified, believes lack of parental oversight is the root of the problem.

“No discipline at all in the neighborhood,” he said. “I mean, like I said, you see very few parents, you know, that will stand behind their children and try to keep them in order or whatever. But most of them running around here, they’re rouges; they run around here rogue; they do what they want to do.”

Federal investigators say the list of crimes connected to the East Hills Bloods amount to more than two dozen, among them a July 2010 shooting incident, which claimed the life of 24-year-old Arika Haynesworth.

She was shot and killed when three men broke into an apartment described by officials as a drug safe house. Authorities say the intruders wanted to rob her boyfriend, an alleged member of the East Hills Bloods.

The 14 men in custody were charged in eight separate but related indictments on Thursday. The indictments were unsealed today.

RELATED LINKS:
Authorities Break Up Suspected Local Drug Ring (4/20/12)
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