Police: Shaler man sold heroin dubbed 'Theraflu'
A police task force charged a Shaler man Thursday with selling heroin to undercover officers four times in the past three months, and at least twice the drugs were mixed with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.
Ross police Detective Brian Kohlhepp described Mark Bochicchio, 36, as a “middle of the pack” dealer and said his heroin was not responsible for a string of deaths connected to fentanyl-laced heroin.
There have been 14 deaths from a combination of heroin and fentanyl in Allegheny County, with the latest occurring Jan. 25, and investigators are looking into another 13 possible overdoses cases, Medical Examiner Karl Williams said.
“It appears none of the users he sold to died,” Kohlhepp said.
Bochicchio did not answer questions from reporters as he was led out of the Ross police station in handcuffs other than to say he was “not guilty.” His parents declined to comment when they answered the door at their Shaler home.
Officers from Ross, Springdale and the District Attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested Bochicchio at his home. He faces 23 charges including multiple counts of possession and sale of heroin and cocaine. He was being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $400,000 bail and faces a March 6 preliminary hearing.
Bochicchio sold heroin labeled “You're Invited” and “Bud Ice” to undercover officers in Shaler, Hampton and the North Side of Pittsburgh, Kohlhepp said. During the last sale to the undercover officer, Bochicchio threw in an extra stamp bag of heroin because the officer was such a “good customer.”
Tests of the heroin by the Medical Examiner revealed stamp bags labeled “Bud Ice” also contained fentanyl, Williams said.
The sales occurred on:
• Nov. 21 — $100 for powder cocaine; $100 for 13 stamp bags of heroin.
• Jan. 14 — $200 for 23 stamp bags of heroin laced with fentanyl.
• Jan. 15 — $430 for 44 stamp bags of heroin laced with fentanyl.
• Feb. 17 — $80 for 11 stamp bags of heroin.
West View police charged Bochicchio on Monday with three drug-related counts connected to a Jan. 30 incident at a Dunkin Donuts.
He got into an argument with the woman at the drive-though window over the price of doughnuts and coffee and she called police.
Officers said he appeared to be under the influence of drugs, and police later found 80 stamp bags of heroin under the driver's seat.
Etna police in October accused Bochicchio of dealing drugs when they found inside a black pouch his ID and three debit cards with his name on them among 36 stamp bags of heroin, a bag of cocaine and 115 used and unused empty stamp bags in the glove box of a car police pulled over because it had an expired registration sticker. Bochicchio, sitting in the passenger seat, claimed the pouch did not belong to him.
Margaret Harding and Bobby Kerlik are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Harding at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com. Reach Kerlik at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Adam Brandolph contributed.