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Drug sweeps through Glassport area net 47 suspects, 31 arrests

| Friday, March 18, 2016, 2:54 p.m.

A Friday morning drug bust netted nearly three dozen arrests in the Glassport area, the culmination of a 14-month investigation led by Allegheny County police.

Of the 115 undercover drug buys officers made between January 2015 and Wednesday, 86 percent of them were heroin, said Lt. Jeffrey Korczyk.

“The breakdown of this shows the problem we're having in Western Pennsylvania,” he said.

He said police seized a handgun and two shotguns, one of which had been reported stolen out of Tennessee.

The 47 suspects — 31 of whom were arrested Friday — did not operate as a single heroin ring, but rather were individual dealers, Korczyk said.

The suspects ranged in demographics, he said: 16 white women, 13 black men, 12 white men and six black women. The youngest is 19, and the oldest is 60.

Korczyk said investigators generally do not set time limits on these types of investigations so as not to tip off targets. Many know each other, and if officers arrested two or three dealers at a time, word likely would spread that agents were targeting the area.

“We work the investigation in an area for as long as it's feasible, and we're gaining new targets,” he said.

Multiple departments — including Elizabeth, McKeesport, Port Vue, the FBI and state Attorney General's Office — helped with identifying and arresting the suspects.

“I think this is a substantial thing for Glassport as a community,” he said.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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