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Monessen drug probe yields arrest

| Saturday, March 1, 2014, 12:17 a.m.
Monessen police and the Attorney General's Drug Task Force seized about $12,000, 40 bricks of suspected heroin with a street value of about $12,000, $800 in suspected crack cocaine, and drug paraphernalia during the arrest of a Clairton man about 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Monessen. The suspect's car was taken to the Rostraver Township police station where investigators found the cash and drugs stashed inside a bookbag and a purse.
Stacy Wolford | The Valley Independent
Monessen police and the Attorney General's Drug Task Force seized about $12,000, 40 bricks of suspected heroin with a street value of about $12,000, $800 in suspected crack cocaine, and drug paraphernalia during the arrest of a Clairton man about 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Monessen. The suspect's car was taken to the Rostraver Township police station where investigators found the cash and drugs stashed inside a bookbag and a purse.
Shon Tomas-P Terry of Clairton is shown being fingerprinted Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at the Monessen police station by  Patrolman Pat Schmidt. Terry was arrested Friday on felony drug charges by Monessen police and the state Attorney General's Drug Task Force.
Stacy Wolford | The Valley Independent
Shon Tomas-P Terry of Clairton is shown being fingerprinted Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at the Monessen police station by Patrolman Pat Schmidt. Terry was arrested Friday on felony drug charges by Monessen police and the state Attorney General's Drug Task Force.

A Clairton man police described as a major drug supplier in Monessen was arrested Friday with cash and suspected drugs valued at nearly $25,000.

Shon Tomas-P Terry, 43, of 824 Saint Clair Ave., was arrested around 1 p.m. by Monessen police, along with Rostraver Township police and state Attorney General's Drug Task Force agents.

Monessen police Lt. James Smith said the arrest follows a lengthy investigation into Terry's alleged drug activity in the city.

“This is a significant arrest. He was a major supplier of heroin to drug dealers in the Mon Valley,” Smith said.

Terry was arrested while sitting in his car in the 200 block of Shawnee Avenue. He allegedly had a brick of suspected heroin in his pocket, Smith said.

He is charged with three felony counts of manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and prohibited offensive weapon for possession of a switchblade knife, according to a criminal complaint.

As Terry was transported to the Monessen police station, investigators impounded his silver Dodge Neon and obtained a warrant to search the vehicle.

During a search of the car at the Rostraver police station, investigators discovered a large stash of cash, about 40 bricks – or 2,000 stamp bags – of suspected heroin with a street value of $12,000 and about 16 grams of suspected crack cocaine worth about $800, police said.

Police also found suspected powder cocaine, drug packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia in the car, Smith said.

As investigators searched the car and inventoried the seized items early Friday evening, Smith said Terry was in possession of about $10,000 – presumably cash generated from sales to local drug dealers Friday.

“Had we not arrested him when we did, all of this would have been on the street,” said Smith, pointing at bundles of suspected heroin found in Terry's car.

Monessen police Chief John Mandarino praised his officers and the task force investigators comprising Mon Valley officers.

“This is definitely a big hit for the drug traffic here,” said Mandarino said. “We're not going to make it easy for anyone to sell drugs in the city.”

Mandarino said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Terry was arraigned via video late Friday night at the Monessen police station by Magisterial District Judge Douglas Weimer Jr. of North Huntingdon Township. He was sent to the Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield Township in lieu of $150,000 straight cash bond.

Terry last made headlines on Jan. 5, 2011, when he was shot eight times in the back and legs outside of a Pittsburgh apartment complex in the Spring Hill neighborhood.

Pittsburgh police said Terry was visiting the complex with his cousin and believe whomever shot him was trying to rob him.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at swolford@tribweb.com.

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