At plea hearing, Unity woman says loyalty led to drug trade
A Unity woman on Friday said her involvement in a major cocaine trafficking ring that operated in Westmoreland County was a result of misplaced loyalty to a surrogate parent.
“David and Paula (Greece) took me in and provided for me,” Patricia Tuscano said after she pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. “I was forever grateful, and I felt obligated to do it, not forced to do what I was asked to do. It was hard for me to tell them no.”
Police said Tuscano, 35, helped store thousands of dollars of drugs for David Greece, a Greensburg Salem High School maintenance supervisor. Investigators claimed Greece and his wife, Paula, operated the drug network until their arrest in early 2011.
Investigators found more than 1,160 grams of cocaine in Tuscano's home, which she rented from David Greece.
She testified against Greece at a pretrial hearing and was expected to be a key prosecution witness at his nonjury earlier this year.
“It was not hard to testify. They basically abandoned me. I never got as much as an apology from him,” Tuscano said on Friday.
Tuscano said the Greeces had cared for her since she was 13 and she felt indebted to them and as a result was unable to walk away from the drug activity.
David Greece, 56, of Unity was convicted of eight drug and conspiracy charges in a brief trial before Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway in August. No witnesses testified at the trial, as Greece declined to challenge any of the prosecution's evidence.
Hathaway sentenced Greece to serve five to 10 years in prison.
Tuscano pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy and was sentenced by Hathaway to serve three years of probation as well as two years on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
Her ankle bracelet for the monitoring was removed on Friday as Tuscano served more than two years of house arrest while she awaited the disposition of her case.
Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Calisti said prosecutors agreed to a sentence for Tuscano that fell below standard sentencing guidelines because of her agreement to testify against Greece.
Drug and conspiracy charges are pending against Paula Greece, although she is expected to plead guilty to lesser charges for helping the prosecution's case against her husband.
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.
- Judge dismisses Latrobe man’s appeal in ’08 strangulation
- Lawsuits a growing problem for Greensburg
- Film crew to shoot at Ligonier Diamond
- Briefs: New Stanton beer distributorship changes hands
- Ligonier man first in Pa. to own aluminum-body F-150
- Hempfield man accused of threats against troopers
- Westmoreland County judge denies appeal of convicted wife killer
- Route 981 sewage project could cost less