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Oakland pizza shop owner arrested on drug charges

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 5:48 p.m.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. wants to close down a pizza shop in Oakland in which he says drugs were being sold a short distance away from the University of Pittsburgh campus.

The sales were being conducted inside Larry & Carol's Pizza Shop in the 400 block of Semple Street, Zappala said on Tuesday when one of the business owners, Fadi Marwan Aboud, 35, was arrested on dozens of drug-related charges.

Narcotics officers recovered a half kilo of cocaine, two pounds of marijuana, several dozen pain-killing pills and cash from searches of the pizza shop and Aboud's Downtown apartment, according to a statement by Zappala spokesman Mike Manko.

“Due to activity that we believe was taking place inside of the pizza shop combined with the large amount of narcotics confiscated during the arrest and the fact that this pizza shop is within walking distance of the Pitt campus, District Attorney Zappala will immediately begin the process of declaring this shop a nuisance property with the goal of closing it down,” Manko said in the statement.

A criminal complaint states that Aboud was arrested after a six-month investigation by the District Attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team, state police and officers from Wilkins, Swissvale, North Versailles and McKees Rocks.

There was no precise value given for the confiscated narcotics, but a half kilo of cocaine could fetch about $15,000 on the street, veteran Pittsburgh narcotics officers said.

A pound of marijuana could be sold for about $12,000. The value of each OxyContin pill is based on strength, so a 10 milligram oxycontin pill would be worth $10, the officers said.

The criminal complaint identifies Aboud as the owner of the pizza shop and states that he admitted selling cocaine, marijuana and pills for about two years. He was awaiting arraignment in Night Court.

A man who answered the phone at the pizza shop Tuesday evening said the shop was open.

He did not identify himself and said no one there had any comment.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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