Judge refuses to delay Tarentum man's trial on drug and gun charges
A Tarentum man has been ordered to stand trial for drug and gun charges in a large-scale heroin conspiracy.
After a hearing on Wednesday, Jose Molina-Delgado, 32, of 217 W. Seventh Ave. was returned to the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of bond.
Police raided his residence and car on Feb. 14 and reportedly found nearly 2,700 heroin packets, cocaine, two pistols, more than $8,600 in cash and close to $500 in counterfeit money.
In searching the car, police uncovered most of the heroin — 2,500 packets — stamped “Pappy” in blue with a red “OK” inside a circle.
Police discovered that the older-model Chevrolet Monte Carlo had been rigged with magnets that electrically control hidden compartments.
Authorities say Molina-Delgado fled to New York and then Puerto Rico. He was extradited in mid-April and sent to the Allegheny County Jail to await a preliminary hearing.
His hearing was delayed in May and June at the request of defense attorneys, and one attorney on Wednesday asked District Judge Carolyn Bengel for another delay. Bengel refused, saying that five witnesses were waiting to testify.
Tarentum Detective Mark Glogowski was the only person to testify.
He testified about the drugs and guns found during the raid.
According to the detective, Molina-Delgado identified two of the sellers as Gustave Cramer Jr. and Courtney Garrirtano, 27, who share his address.
Both face drug charges in Allegheny County Court. On Wednesday, defense attorney Chris Urbano asked whether police found a lease to show that Molina-Delgado was staying in the apartment.Glogowski replied that he found a letter from a county jail inmate addressed to Molina-Delgado at the West Seventh Avenue address.
Bengel rejected Urbano's request to dismiss drug paraphernalia and conspiracy charges on claims there wasn't sufficient evidence and held all charges for court.
Molina-Delgado is to stand trial on seven drug possession and sales charges, conspiracy, receiving stolen property and two gun possession charges.
Molina-Delgado isn't allowed to have guns because in 2007, he was convicted in Allegheny County of burglary and aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.
When the February incident occurred, Molina-Delgado was scheduled to stand trial for allegedly having 800 heroin packets in Brackenridge in May 2013. He was staying at a Harwick address at that time.
He has since been convicted in that case.
He was sentenced to three to six years in state prison. In March 2010, he was sent to the Alle-Kiski Pavilion halfway house in Arnold to complete his sentence and was paroled from there about 13 months ago. But in April 2012, Molina-Delgado was sent back to prison for a parole violation. He was again paroled to the halfway house March 18.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711.