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Greensburg man charged in OD investigation

| Saturday, March 30, 2013, 12:23 a.m.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Evidence seized by Greensburg Police Thursday night includes heroin, money and a firearm.

Authorities charged a Greensburg man with drug delivery and possession offenses after they linked him to a Jeannette woman's heroin overdose on Thursday.

Travis “Trizzel” Sturchio, 19, of 770 N. Main St., is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

He was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Police said they found about 120 stamp bags — slightly more than two bricks of heroin, or more than 4 pounds — in Sturchio's possession after stopping a vehicle he was in Thursday night.

Authorities also confiscated $1,119 and a .38-caliber handgun that had been reported stolen to Mt. Pleasant police last year.

During questioning, Sturchio admitted he had supplied heroin to the woman, who survived the overdose, police said. Authorities didn't reveal her full name in court papers.

A brick consists of 50 stamp bags and would be worth at least $500 on the street, investigators said.

The woman got the heroin after texting a man she knows as “Trizzel” about buying some, according to a criminal complaint. She agreed to go to the Hawksworth Garden Apartments, where Sturchio lives, police said.

At the apartment complex, the woman met another male who was sent out by Sturchio, according to court papers.

After learning about the overdose and identifying Sturchio as a suspect, Greensburg, police, state police and Westmoreland County detectives put his apartment under surveillance.

Shortly before 9 p.m., police saw a black Chevrolet Impala pull into the parking lot in front of Building G. Sturchio got out of the car, walked to the side entrance and up to his apartment, No. 24, police said.

A short time later, Sturchio returned to the Impala, got into the passenger side, and the car drove off with a female driving.

Another Greensburg officer stopped the Impala on Grant Street in the city when the female driver, who has not been charged, failed to use a turn signal, according to court papers.

The team that had been watching the apartment then questioned Sturchio on Grant Street. Sturchio, who told police “he doesn't sell drugs any more,” had $249 in his possession investigators said.

Police said he got nervous when they told him a woman had overdosed.

Investigators searched the Impala and discovered the revolver and a glasses case containing about 120 stamp bags of heroin under the seat where Sturchio had been sitting, Greensburg police Detective Jerry Vernail said. Most of the bags were stamped with the words “Roc Nation.”

A girl who is about 3 years old was in the Impala near the heroin and revolver, police said.

After police arrested him, Sturchio attempted to run, then fought with officers. Authorities threw him to the ground and handcuffed him, according to court papers.

Sturchio said he purchased three bricks of heroin in Pittsburgh and paid $280 per brick, investigators said. He said he bought the stolen pistol from a person he knows in Jeannette.

Sturchio admitted selling heroin to a young woman earlier that day with the same first name as the woman who overdosed, police said.

During a search of Sturchio's apartment, police said they found $870 in a shoebox.

Sturchio was placed on the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program in 2012, after he was charged with stealing from a vehicle and other crimes, Westmoreland County Court records show.

He was charged last year with simple assault and other crimes and is awaiting disposition in that case.

He is scheduled to appear Thursday before Greensburg District Judge James Albert on the new charges.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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