Share This Page

Pittsburgh police charge five in two North Side drug busts

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 6:12 p.m.
Pittsburgh police photo of guns and drugs seized Nov. 15, 2013 from a home on Itin Street in the North Side.
James Snyder, 22, of the North Side, charged in a Friday drug bust.
Nicholas Smith, 21, of the North Side, charged in a Friday drug bust.
Aaron Gale, 20, of the North Side
Brandon Williams, 18, charged in a drug bust.

Two days of Pittsburgh police stings designed to crack down on North Side drug dealing netted five arrests, authorities say.

On Saturday afternoon, they spotted Aaron Gale, 20, of Brighton Heights, who was wanted for gun charges, near a Jacksonia Street home in the Mexican War Streets. He tried to escape through the house, police said.

Brandon Williams, 18, began to leave the residence with the fumes of burning marijuana trailing behind him, police said. Officers arrested him and continued into the building where they nabbed Gale. Inside, they found a loaded Beretta pistol, three bundles of heroin packets stamped “Molly Cyrus,” another two bundles marked “911,” a marijuana grinder, digital scale and two cell phones.

Gale and Williams were in the Allegheny County Jail. Gale is charged with fleeing police officers, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of controlled substances with the attempt to deliver them, evidence tampering and three other drug-related crimes. Williams is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute it and four other drug crimes.

The night before, plainclothes officers arrested Nicholas Smith, 21, of Summer Hill and James Snyder, 22, of the North Side on Itin Street after watching them sell marijuana to Shawn Ferraccio, 38, of Apollo.

Ferraccio was arrested for pot possession and released. A search of a nearby home used by Snyder turned up several more bags of marijuana, $525 in cash, a cell phone, packaging material, three boxes of ammunition and two guns, according a press release.

Snyder and Smith were charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver it. Both were released after posting $5,000 cash bonds, according to court records.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.