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GREENSBURG (KDKA) — It’s a drug bust of historic proportions — a half million dollars’ worth of heroin hidden in a car.
State police say when it comes to a big bust, the best plan by the most savvy of alleged drug dealers can come undone by the smallest infraction on the open road.
“We count on the fact that they’re gonna make mistakes while they’re out there,” Trooper Steve Limani said.
State police say 22-year-old David Manuel Mora was driving westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Mt. Pleasant Township. His Jeep had a faulty taillight, and a trooper noticed and made a traffic stop.
After talking to Mora, investigators say the trooper sensed something wasn’t right.
“During the traffic stop, he felt there were some indicators that led him to believe there was criminal activity afoot, specifically maybe some drug trafficking,” Limani said.
The trooper asked Mora for permission to search the man’s Jeep, and Mora said OK. It didn’t take investigators long to discover a hidden compartment that operates on hydraulics — something troopers call “a trap.”
Stashed inside the trap, a suspected 25,000 stamp bags of heroin with a street value of half a million dollars.
“It was packaged and sealed for delivery,” Limani said. “It was on its way to the Pittsburgh area.”
Mora, who’s from Philadelphia but a native of the Dominican Republic, now faces felony drug trafficking counts.
“We’re happy we intercepted this,” Limani said. “It’s a large quantity of heroin.”
As for the mechanical and technological genius that went into Mora’s trap, it was pretty elaborate, but for state police, in the big picture, it’s an absolute waste of technical talent.
“If they have the ability to be this technologically savvy, could they just use it for something good, as opposed to what they are using it for?” Limani said.
State police say Mora could face additional charges. He’s in the Westmoreland County Prison, held on $2.5 million straight cash bond.