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Greensburg drug suspect's bail drops during delay of lab results

| Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

An accused drug dealer's bail was lowered on Thursday as prosecutors sought a delay in holding his preliminary hearings.

Greensburg District Judge James Albert reduced Travis Tyler Sturchio's straight bail from $150,000 to $75,000.

“I don't know if he can make it or not, even with that (reduction),” Albert said.

Westmoreland County Assistant Public Defender John Sweeney requested the reduction. He told Albert that the defense was ready to proceed with the two hearings, and his client should not be penalized because of the prosecution's request.

Assistant District Attorney John Petrush said he needed the delay because lab results on the suspected heroin involved in the cases had not been received.

Sturchio, 19, of North Main Street, who is charged with drug delivery and possession offenses, might face mandatory sentencing because a weapon was involved, Petrush noted.

“Due to the seriousness of the case, the commonwealth doesn't want to proceed without the lab results,” he said.

Sturchio attempted to run from police when authorities stopped his girlfriend's vehicle March 28 on Grant Street in Greensburg, Petrush said in asking for bail to stay at a total of $150,000 in the two cases.

Police stopped the vehicle on linking Sturchio to a Jeannette woman's drug overdose, according to court papers.

During a search, authorities said they found slightly more than two bricks, or 120 stamp bags, of heroin in an eyeglass case, $1,119 in cash and a .38-caliber handgun reported as stolen to Mt. Pleasant police last year.

A brick consists of 50 stamp bags and would be worth $500 to $1,000 on the streets in the Greensburg area, authorities said.

The woman survived the overdose, police said.

In the other case, Greensburg police said they found 2 12 bricks of heroin in an eyeglass case that Sturchio admitted throwing out of a window of his apartment at Hawksworth Garden Apartments in the city March 5.

His hearings are rescheduled for May 23.

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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