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Officers say Hempfield man ripped them off during staged drug buy

| Friday, May 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Hempfield man is accused of ripping off police during a drug buy.

Jason C. Held, 36, of Vancouver Street, Grapeville, was arraigned Thursday on charges of conspiracy, theft, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.

Held pocketed $350 of the $1,000 authorities gave him for a drug buy with a woman about 7 p.m. on Dec. 5, Greensburg police and state police said in court papers.

They charged Held, who had worked for them previously as an informant, with the drug offenses for the 4.3 grams cocaine he gave them after the buy, police said.

Before the exchange, Held said he could purchase an ounce of cocaine for $1,000 from a woman he knows, police said.

Authorities gave Held the money, and after he met the woman, he returned to police with some suspected crack cocaine “that was nowhere close to an ounce,” police said.

About the same time, authorities stopped the woman's vehicle, telling Held she was being detained on warrants.

“Held became very nervous and indicated he believed that his identity as an informant would be revealed (to the woman) if (she) was arrested,” according to an affidavit.

Police found $640 in her bra, part of the $1,000 that police gave Held in marked bills, according to court papers.

The woman, who has not been charged, said she and Held spoke at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. that day. Held asked what the woman “could get for him” and said he had money and wanted to “knock his head in,” according to an affidavit.

“When I asked what that meant, she replied that it was slang for ripping that person off,” police wrote in the affidavit.

“She then said that she asked Held what she would get out of the deal, and he said that he was going to give her $650,” according to the affidavit.

During the exchange, Held counted out the money and she put it in her bra, the woman said.

During his arraignment, Held told Greensburg District Judge James Albert that he has been paroled for earlier offenses and is involved in an in-patient treatment program.

“I was a drug addict,” Held said. “I was hooked on heroin.”

Held, who faces a preliminary hearing on Thursday, was jailed in lieu of posting $30,000 straight bond.

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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