PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “The amount of heroin that we are seeing in southwestern Pennsylvania is like a plague, it is a plague infecting our communities.”
Attorney General Josh Shapiro detailed the results of a major drug round up conducted Thursday.
33 people are now facing charges, accused of dealing heroin and other drugs in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
“Today those dealers are off the streets, and they won’t be pedaling their poison in our communities any longer,” Shapiro said.
One of the biggest raids happened in Sharpsburg, with hundreds of bags of heroin seized.
“This is an extraordinary amount of heroin, extraordinary amount of drugs and cash and other items as well,” Shapiro said.
In Pennsylvania alone, nearly 5,000 people died last year as a result of the heroin and opioid epidemic — the number one accidental killer in the state.
“As one of the individuals was being arrested, neighbors came over to some of our personnel and thanked us for getting these people out of their neighborhoods,” Shapiro said.
An illegal painkiller can cost $75 on the street, but a bag of heroin costs only $5 to $10. Shapiro said there’s a natural progression from the legal use of an opioid painkiller, to addiction, to buying illegally and then getting addicted to heroin.
“Here in the United States, we need about this many opioid painkillers to deal with pain. But the pharmaceutical companies manufacture this amount and you have to ask yourself why,” Shapiro said.
He also applauded the tremendous collaboration of law enforcement for the sweep.
“It’s important that you know how many local police departments were involved in this important undertaking today, grateful to them for their service,” Shapiro said.
Below is a list of every person arrested, charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance or delivery of a controlled substance:
· Joshua Alcorn, 30, of the 200 block of 13th St., Sharpsburg
· Samuel Anderson, 46, of the 1100 block of Wood St., Pittsburgh
· Craig Banks, 46, of the 200 block of 15th St., Sharpsburg
· Charles Baurle, 52, of the 3800 block of Mt. Troy Road, Reserve Township
· Erik Beverly, 23, of the 400 block of Venture St., Pittsburgh
· Jessica Brown, 36, of the 500 block of Stanton Ave., Millvale
· Jason Butler, 31, of the 5300 block of Cornwall St., Pittsburgh
· Renardo L. Blanding, 28, of the 800 block of Cottonwood Drive, Monroeville
· Mellisa M. Bodick, 36, of the 200 block of Auburn Street, Penn Hills
· Jeffrey R. Coates, 33, of the 100 block of Unity Center Road, Plum
· Justin Claybourne, 27, of the 200 block of Cliffton Ave., Sharpsburg
· Anthony Cobb, 56, of the 1900 block of Main St., Sharpsburg
· Bryan J. Ford, 36, of the 700 block of Hill Avenue, Plum
· Cordero A. Hogan , 30, of the 400 block of Highland Avenue, Pitcairn
· Bernard Jackson, 39, of the 1400 block of Sloan Ave., Wilkinsburg
· Damon Jackson, 40, of the 100 block of 19th St., Sharpsburg
· Patrick Lucky, 43, of the 900 block of Main St., Sharpsburg
· Charlotte McGivern, 23, of the 200 block of 13th St., Sharpsburg
· Michelle Oatman, 38, of the 1300 block of Louise St., Homestead
· James Smith, 59, of the 300 block of 11th St., Sharpsburg
· Braden Stone, 49, of the 3800 block of Center Ave., Allison Park
· Jennifer Thein, 35, of the 300 block of Hoffman Road, Reserve Township
· Randall Vrabel, 31, of the 500 block of 4th Street, Pitcairn
· Emanuel Wade, 39, of the 200 block of S. St. Claire St., Pittsburgh
· Samantha Wails, 24, of the first block of 3rd St., Sharpsburg
· Tyrell Walker, 20, of the 200 block of Mayflower St., Pittsburgh
· Brandon M. Zaborowski, 24, of the first block of Maplewood St., Etna,
· Victor Zilinek, 33, of the 400 block of N. Beatty St., Pittsburgh
· James D. Pinkston, 26, of the 1700 block of Kenneth Ave., Arnold
· Alexis S. Fiscus, 20, of the first block of S. 5th Ave., Clarion
· Robert L. Hartzell, 36, of the first block of S. 5th Ave., Clarion
· Joshua J. Porowski, 40, of the 200 block of Kentucky Drive, Lower Burrell
· Damon Reynolds, 25, of the 200 block of Fleet St., Braddock