Arrests made in Tarentum drug raid
By Tom Yerace
Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 10:42 a.m.
Three people have been charged after police say a predawn raid Friday in Tarentum turned up quantities of drugs and counterfeit currency.
State drug agents and local police who are part of the state Attorney General's Drug Task Force used search warrants at two West Tarentum residences, 217 W. Seventh Ave., Apt. A, and 808 Short St., about 6:30 a.m.
Arrest documents identified the people arrested at the West Seventh Avenue location as Courtney Garritano, 27, who lives there, and Gustave Cramer, 31, who told police he is homeless and whose last known address was in the 1500 block of Leishman Avenue, New Kensington.
Lawrence Leon Battle, 28, was arrested at the Short Street residence, where he was living, according to the documents.
At the West Seventh Avenue apartment, police said, they found 180 packets of heroin in a bedroom. Also, three packs of synthetic marijuana were found on top of the refrigerator and on the living room floor, along with rubber bands commonly used to wrap bundles of heroin.
A black gym bag, which contained Cramer's birth certificate and Social Security card, also contained $480 in counterfeit money, police said. A jacket found in the bedroom with Garritano's identification card in the pocket, also had a packet of heroin and 8 milligrams of Suboxone, a drug used to treat addiction to opiates, they said.
When police entered Battle's residence on Short Street, he was read his Miranda rights but agreed to talk to the police officers without a lawyer present, according to the arrest affidavit.
Battle showed police where he had crack cocaine stored in a sock inside a bedroom dresser drawer.
There were five rocks of cocaine individually wrapped for apparent sale, police said.
Battle was charged with one count of drug possession and one of possession with intent to deliver.
Cramer was charged with one count of forgery, one of possession with intent to deliver heroin, one of possession of drug paraphernalia and two of drug possession.
Garritano was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and two counts of drug possession.
All three were arraigned before Brackenridge District Judge Carolyn Bengel, who set the bail for each at $20,000 cash. They were sent to the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of bond to wait a preliminary hearing.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Fear of building collapse closes Tarentum road
- New Kensington-Arnold board debates dress code
- With no money for upkeep, Prospect Cemetery Association board to disband
- Brackenridge water rates will rise
- Brackenridge may be required by law to maintain cemetery
- Eagle populations take off in urban areas
- Valley High School students’ art projects cover the classics
- Harmar bald eagles get crack at parenting
- Wreck closed Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell early Friday
- Verizon to build cellphone tower in Kiski Township