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Monessen drug suspect 'all wet'

| Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
Marcus Allums, 25, of Monessen, arrested on drug charges, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in his Tenth Street residence.

While executing a search warrant Wednesday, police in Monessen confiscated nearly $25,000 worth of suspected heroin and nabbed a suspected drug dealer just after he exited the shower.

Marcus Dontez Allums, 25, of 1061 Knox Ave., was soaking wet and wearing only a towel when he was taken into custody and placed in handcuffs, Lt. James Smith said.

As part of an ongoing joint investigation, the raid was conducted along with two agents from the state Attorney General's office and a task force comprising officers from Monessen, Charleroi Regional and surrounding departments.

Smith said police found suspected heroin on a nightstand along with a wallet containing Allums' identification in a first-floor bedroom. Smith said he discovered a red duffel bag nearby that contained 95 bricks of heroin.

One brick is equal to 50 individual stamp bags and costs approximately $250 on the street. Stamp bags generally sell for $7 to $10 apiece in the Mid-Mon Valley, according to Monessen Chief John Mandarino.

Donald Payne, 52, of Monessen, was found in a bar area on the first floor. He was arrested and sent to Westmoreland County Prison on outstanding bench warrants.

Smith said that while searching the bedroom, police discovered a video monitor connected to a surveillance camera positioned at the rear, first-floor entrance. That is where most alleged drug transactions have taken place, police said.

Police said they recovered two stacks of cash in a dresser drawer totaling approximately $10,000.

Police discovered insurance documents for a Lincoln Navigator SUV and a Mercedes Benz in Allums' name. The vehicles were impounded, along with an all-terrain vehicle and a motorcycle. The ATV did not have a vehicle identification number, but the motorcycle was registered to Allums, police said.

Mandarino said Allums was one of several residents who allegedly rode his “quad” around town, which is illegal.

“For the Valley, (Allums) is considered a mid- to upper-mid level dealer,” Mandarino said. “Our investigations are leading us up the food chain, and we're not stopping anytime soon.”

Ida May Allums, who owns the residence, was questioned by officers. She said her grandson, Marcus Allums, did not have a job. She denied knowledge of any suspected drug activity at the home, police said.

Monessen police obtained a search warrant after conducting several controlled buys out of Ida May Allums' residence.

“We finally have the resources to make it a fair fight, and we're not stopping until we're told otherwise,” Smith said.

Marcus Allums was arraigned via video by Magisterial District Judge Mark J. Bilik and sent to the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $250,000 straight cash bond.

He was charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

It was the most significant drug bust in Monessen since police confiscated 160 bricks of heroin from a Motheral Avenue residence in July 2012.

“This made a definite impact,” Mandarino said. “You could tell by the reaction of the people in that neighborhood that we shook a major tree today.”

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635.