Allegheny County police arrest 29 on drug charges in Pitcairn area
Allegheny County Police arrested 29 Pitcairn-area residents on drug charges in a 10-month undercover investigation that yielded warrants for 51 suspected “low-level dealers,” Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.
The sting began about 6:20 a.m. Friday and extended into the afternoon. One suspect suffered a heart attack during the course of his arrest and was hospitalized, Moffatt said.
Officers recovered one weapon and small quantities of prescription pills, crack cocaine and heroin. Investigators sought warrants for the suspects after observing them sell drugs at least three times each between March 13 and Nov. 15, Moffatt said.
Pitcairn police Chief Scott Farally attributed several local burglaries, thefts and prostitution to the suspects. Drug crime has blown up in small communities, county police Lt. Jeffrey Korczyk said.
“We find (drugs) all the time,” Moffatt said. “It's a fact of life, and we try our best to keep a lid on it.”
Farally credited one of his officers with reaching out to county police for assistance with local drug enforcement.
“They did a great job arresting a large number of bad people, and ideally (drug dealers) will get the idea that Pitcairn won't put up with them,” said Pitcairn Public Safety Committee Chairman John Bova. “But it's mind-boggling that so much of this activity is happening right down the street.”
Pitcairn council plans to add $8,000 to the police budget in 2014 for drug enforcement, Bova said.
“This is not the end of our efforts at all; it's the beginning,” he said.
Bova said drug enforcement in the town of about 3,000 people has become more aggressive in recent months, since council appointed Farally to replace the former chief, who retired.
The department is “more active and effective than they've ever been,” Bova said.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. criticized the county police's drug investigation efforts last month when he requested nearly $500,000 from county council to form a task force to combat drugs and violence in the eastern suburbs. Moffatt defended his department.
Zappala later said he reached an agreement with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to make a strategic plan to attack crime, and county council this week approved an increase in his budget to $16.2 million.
Megan Harris and Kyle Lawson are staff writers for Trib Total Media.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Brawls erupt at Monroeville Mall
- Small nonprofits rein in costs, expand reach with shared CFOs
- Western Pa. counties won’t slap fee on drivers for infrastructure repairs
- E-reader app co-created by CMU grad could limit devices’ impact on sleep
- Public vs. private interests at play in Allegheny County judge’s ruling on access to online docket
- Nonprofit sector grows into powerful national player
- Landlord regulations tighten in Western Pennsylvania municipalities
- Newsmaker: Edwin D. Hill
- Medical Examiner rules man found in Homewood died of gunshot wounds
- ‘The Interview’ plays to sold-out crowd in Pittsburgh
- PNC Bank offers reward for information leading to arrest of bank robber