Mt. Pleasant police make drug bust
A reliable tip and the efforts of two Mt. Pleasant borough police officers, assisted by the department's K9 officer, kept several pounds of marijuana from hitting the streets on Tuesday, police said.
Mt. Pleasant police on Tuesday arrested Toriano Thomas, 42, of North Huntingdon. He was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and carrying a firearm without a license.
Acting on a tip, Assistant Police Chief Dan Zilli said, officers found Thomas on South Silver Street.
“We had information that he would be bringing a large amount of marijuana into Mt. Pleasant,” Zilli said. “He arrived at the location with the intent of dropping it off.”
Zilli contacted Officer George Grippo, who brought his canine partner, Gerro, to the scene. As soon as the canine began to circle the exterior of the vehicle, he had a “hit.”
“He went into position when he approached the rear passenger door area by the seam of the Jeep,” Grippo said.
The officers impounded the vehicle and took it to the borough police department. After receiving a search warrant from an area magistrate, police searched the vehicle.
Police said the search resulted in them seizing 2.5 pounds of marijuana and $2,726 in cash that was located in different areas of the car. A gun was located under the driver's seat, said Grippo.
“We found the marijuana in a string knapsack, and we also located a smaller amount of marijuana in the middle of the console,” Grippo said.
The estimated street value of the bust is between $8,000 and $10,000.
The 9 mm gun was registered to Thomas, but he did not have a permit to carry the weapon.
Thomas was arraigned before District Judge Roger Eckels and is free on $50,000 cash bail.
The Mt. Pleasant officers said they have been busy over the past several months, making a concerted effort to crack down drug usage and trafficking in the borough.
“The police department in general is cracking down on drugs,” Zilli said. He said Tuesday's bust was the largest amount of marijuana seized to date.
“This bust kept a lot of marijuana from being distributed here in Mt. Pleasant,” Grippo said.
Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Lucia commended the officers on a job well done and said Gerro is playing an important role in the borough.
“Gerro has really proved to be an asset to the department,” Lucia said. “He is a great addition to the department, and he has proven to be a good officer.”
Police ask that anyone with information on suspected drug usage or distribution contact the department and ask for Zilli or Grippo. Information will be kept confidential.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
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.
- Harhai campaign emails from 2007 under review, Westmoreland County DA says
- Latrobe school directors won’t forgive bill for WCCC land
- 1 dead, 1 injured in Derry Twp. crash
- Energy company responsible for polluting Donegal well appeals state’s finding
- 40-year-old Latrobe woman used boy, 13, for sex, drugs, police say
- Police investigate Hempfield fight
- New York fuel cell company to add another plant in Mt. Pleasant Township
- Lab results questioned in fatal Mt. Pleasant car accident
- Southmoreland student injured in school assault
- Ligonier Township considers cellphone tower requests
- Greensburg finalizes deal to provide sign language interpreter for soccer program