4 arrested in raid; drugs seized in West Tarentum
The Attorney General's Drug Task Force arrested four people during a raid Tuesday morning in the 400 block of Walters Way in Tarentum's West Tarentum neighborhood.
John Kaczor, 50, of West Eighth Avenue, Tarentum; Maria Rivera, 35, of Cleveland, Ohio; Ernest “Hood” Clinton, 30; and Brian Clinton, 35, both of 414 Walters Way, were arraigned on multiple felony drug charges in connection with an alleged drug operation inside the home.
Four children between the ages of 3 and 10 were living there, according to police.
Prior to Tuesday's raid, authorities say they learned through informants that Kaczor regularly retrieved narcotics from the Walters Way house and then sold the drugs.
Tarentum police Chief William Vakulick said police had received numerous complaints about suspicious activity there.
According to a criminal complaint, on July 15 and 21 authorities worked with an informant to buy a total of $360 worth of heroin packets from Kaczor. Both times, task force officers watched as Kaczor and the informant went into the house on Walters Way. Each time the informant was able to buy about 20 packets of heroin, police said.
About 6 a.m. Tuesday, the task force raided the Walters Way home.
Officers used flash-bangs, which emit a blinding light and loud noise intended to disorient the suspects, before entering the house.
“We didn't know what we would encounter,” Vakulick said.
Sitting in the back of the home was a five-gallon bucket with six marijuana plants. Inside, authorities found cash, heroin packets and ammunition, according to court documents.
In total, according to the criminal complaint, police seized three dozen small plastic bags and rubber bands used to package heroin, a few empty heroin bags, a box of .25-caliber ammunition and .22-caliber ammunition, two fluorescent lights and a tent used to grow plants and about $3,700 in cash.
The Clintons and Rivera are charged with criminal conspiracy, drug manufacturing and possession, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.
They were being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Kaczor is charged with two counts each of drug possession, drug delivery and possession with intent to deliver. He was being held in the county jail on $15,000 bond.
The four are scheduled to have preliminary hearings on July 31 before District Judge Carolyn Bengel.
The drug bust occurs almost exactly a month after a raid on Roup Avenue in East Tarentum resulted in a handful of arrests.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Thousands attend Vandergrift Light-Up Night, Christmas parade
- Tarentum restaurant closes to repair brick damage
- Flurry of business activity enlivening quaint Saxonburg
- Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation donates $12,000 to revamping middle school library
- Photo of suspect in Greendale Tavern burglary/fire released