Raid in Mt. Pleasant busts drug operation, police say
Police said they have broken up an oxycodone ring operating out of a Mt. Pleasant home, where five people this year acquired about $140,000 worth of the prescription painkillers through 96 forged prescriptions for 8,433 pills from several pharmacies in Westmoreland and Fayette counties.
Police recovered 205 oxycodone pills worth $4,500 plus marijuana, Ecstasy and five LSD-laced Sweet Tart candies from a home they raided along Washington Street about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Greensburg Detective Jerry Vernail said.
Police expect to charge at least five people in connection with possession of the oxycodone and illegally obtaining the painkillers, Vernail said.
The detective said he intends to interview the Mt. Pleasant-area physician whose name was on the forged prescription. The prescription slip appeared to be old because it listed the doctor's number as a 412 area code, rather than the 724 area code that was created in 1998, Vernail said.
Armed with a search warrant from Penn Township District Judge Helen M. Kistler, Vernail conducted the raid with Mt. Pleasant police and its K-9 unit, as well as Westmoreland County Detective Tony Marcocci.
One woman allegedly confessed to forging fewer than 10 prescriptions, Vernail said.
The five LSD-laced Sweet Tarts, inside two small plastic bags, looked like normal candy but appeared slightly stale from being tainted with LSD, Vernail said. The detective said the occupants of the house told Vernail they had bought the LSD-laced candies but would not reveal the supplier.
Vernail said authorities were tipped off to the oxycodone ring by a Med-Fast pharmacist at the Shop 'n Save on East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg.
A woman, whom Vernail declined to identify, sought to fill a prescription for 120 oxycodone pills. The pharmacist said he was suspicious because of the odd way the woman was acting. The woman recently had tried to buy oxycodone from the Med-Fast pharmacy in the Shop 'n Save store along Route 136 in Hempfield.
Vernail said the physician told him he had not filled the prescription and called police.
The investigation will continue to determine the source of the other oxycodone pills and how the suspects obtained the money to buy them, Vernail said
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Water service restored in Derry after break
- Mt. Pleasant-based author details area’s ‘Hidden History’
- Psychologist’s compassion buoyed students, friends
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Westmoreland, Fayette towns prepare to ring in holidays
- Man taken to hospital from scene of Hempfield house fire
- Westmoreland, Fayette groups open doors to share Thanksgiving meals
- Students learn risks of digital lives at middle school presentation in Hempfield
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case
- Jeannette couple honored by AARP for tireless community service
- Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death