27 witnesses to testify in Greensburg heroin trafficking case
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Testimony started Monday in the trial of two men accused of leading a group of 18 defendants charged with operating a major heroin trafficking ring in Greensburg.
Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney James Lazor said Dominick Haynes and James Moore were instrumental in the drug ring that operated throughout the city and out of the Hawksworth Apartments in 2011 and 2012.
Police said Moore, 25, of South Huntingdon was the ringleader in an operation that moved thousands of bricks of heroin between Allegheny and Westmoreland counties using a series of local people who sold the drugs, mainly in the Greensburg, Latrobe and Mt. Pleasant areas.
“This was a large-scale heroin trafficking operation, bringing in drugs from New Jersey and marketing to users around here,” Lazor said in an interview Monday morning.
The prosecution charged Moore, Haynes and the 16 other defendants with drug offenses and racketeering.
Moore's co-defendant, Haynes, 26, of McKeesport, was a top lieutenant in the drug operation, police said.
Prosecutors have said they intend to call as many as 27 witnesses in the case, including several informants who were charged in connection with the drug ring.
Several other people who have pleaded guilty could be called to testify, Lazor said.
The large number of suspects prompted county court administrators to bring in Senior Judge Paul H. Millin from Warren County to oversee the trial and all the associated cases.
Millin is expected to preside over another trial for at least two defendants next month.
In court on Monday, Moore's defense lawyer, Michael DeMatt, told jurors there is no evidence that directly points to his client's involvement in the drug organization.
Defense attorney William Gallishen, representing Haynes, said his client did nothing illegal.
“The case relies on testimony of heroin addicts,” Gallishen said.
The trial is expected to last about seven days.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
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.
- Pair jailed in Hempfield drugstore robbery
- Duo sought in spate of Greensburg graffiti
- Westmoreland prosecutors want prison for Russian in gun case
- Unity Township salesman cleared in scam case sues police, car dealer
- Audit finds Jeannette’s accounting deficient
- Westmoreland water authority signs off on DEP sanctions
- Homeowner flees Ligonier Township fire
- Ligonier officials may review legality of 2 council votes
- Mt. Pleasant holiday tour to feature homes, more
- Unity supervisors adopt budget with no tax hike
- Westmoreland County rail, aviation grants total $3.1 million