Alleged Greensburg heroin dealer gets lecture, has bond tripled
By Paul Peirce
Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 11:42 p.m.
A bid by an alleged heroin dealer to have his bond reduced backfired Thursday when District Judge James Albert tripled it to $75,000 and gave him a lecture to boot.
Albert listened to 45 minutes of testimony from two Westmoreland County Drug Task Force members who said they witnessed Travis Brown, 27, of Greensburg, sell nearly two bricks of heroin to confidential informants in Greensburg and South Greensburg in 2012.
After hearing the testimony, Albert ruled there was sufficient evidence for Brown to stand trial on seven counts of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, plus two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance.
Brown's attorney, Deborah Jackson of the public defender's office, then told Albert that her client wanted his bond reduced from $25,000, noting that he lives in Greensburg and is not a flight risk.
Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro objected, pointing out the amount of the heroin Brown allegedly sold — about 100 stamp bags.
“If anything, I think the amount of Mr. Brown's bond should be increased by a few thousand,” Ciaramitaro said.
Albert did that — and then some.
“I consider heroin a detriment to our society. I'm going to increase it to $75,000,” Albert said. “And let this serve notice to anyone in the area dealing heroin who comes before me that I consider heroin a detriment to society and they will have a high bond.”
Mt. Pleasant Assistant Police Chief Dan Zilli and Southwest Greensburg Police Sgt. Todd Brant testified that a confidential informant purchased various amounts of heroin amounting to nearly 100 bags. The alleged buys were made on Sept. 15, 2012, in South Greensburg; Sept. 26, 2012, near Smith's house on South Main Street; and Oct. 15 in the parking lot of Dino's Sports Lounge in Greensburg.
Brown failed to post $75,000 bail and was remanded to the county jail to await trial.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 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.
- Tax refund promise led Ligonier teacher to second career as corgi breeder
- Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg to be featured in TV series
- Yukon Pet Adoption League, founder settle spat
- Latrobe will join county land bank
- Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chris Smither among headliners for Greensburg’s SummerSounds series
- No apology from Greensburg driver in DUI death
- Westmoreland County Controller Balzer, IRS at odds
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Jeannette examines hiring city manager
- DEP tests Loyalhanna after fuel spill
- Penn-Trafford board promotes Inglese