GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Police in Westmoreland County say they prevented a large batch of heroin from making it onto the streets.
State police say the two men arrested were acting as mules, bringing heroin from Philadelphia to Westmoreland County to be distributed. But they were stopped, according to investigators, because there were some problems with the car they were in.
State police say 27-year-old Frankely Alonzo Castanos and 30-year-old Jose Miguel Montilla had just left the turnpike in New Stanton when the car they were in got troopers’ attention.
“We were able to spot a vehicle that, luckily for us, was making some traffic violations, not staying within the lines, and our troopers made a traffic stop on that vehicle,” trooper Stephen Limani said.
Once pulled over, Castanos and Montilla, both from the Dominican Republic and both in the country illegally, told troopers they could search their car. Investigators say the search paid off.
“Subsequently, there was a large amount of heroin in that vehicle, about $75,000 worth,” Limani said, “and we believe these two individuals have been moving heroin into our southwestern Pennsylvania area for a little while.”
The duo, now facing multiple felony drug charges, were believed to be bound for New Stanton and one of the many hotels there.
“We’ve had numerous drug raids at the hotels that are down there. Those hotels, a lot of them operate as, like, a mini apartment. Those people stay there for a month at a time, or they’ll rent a room and just basically run their drug operation out of there,” Limani said.
Troopers believe the two were trying to expand a fledgling heroin operation in the area.
“Don’t try to move drugs in our area,” Limani said. “We’re gonna get you. That’s just all there is to it.”
Both men are being held in the Westmoreland County Jail. Police say they are not cooperating with investigators.