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Newsmaker: Richard Venezia

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Richard Venezia Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff of the month

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Bobby Kerlik
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Noteworthy: Venezia was named Deputy of the Month for April for his work in apprehending a fugitive accused of abusing a 7-year-old girl. As a member of the fugitive squad, he helped track the man to an abandoned Shaler construction site and arrested him — on his day off. Venezia and a Shaler officer waited several hours at a McDonald's restaurant the man frequented before proceeding to the construction site. Once there, they found the man and another person sleeping in a makeshift living area.

Age: 39

Residence: Shaler

Family: Wife, three children

Occupation: Detective with the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office

Background: 15-year veteran as a deputy sheriff and 10 years as a detective; worked three years as police officer for Etna and Millvale; played minor league baseball from 1994-96; coaches 14-year-olds and 7- and 8-year-olds in Shaler baseball leagues

Education: Attended California University of Pennsylvania, Shaler Area High School

Quote: “I enjoy the job. It's something different every day. Any time you can make a difference in a community, whether you are saving a life or helping someone with a narcotics problem, I do it.”

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