5 still sought in Westmoreland drug sweep
State drug agents are searching for five suspected drug dealers at large who escaped last week's drug sweep in Westmoreland County.
They were among 16 people charged by agents with selling heroin, prescription drugs and marijuana throughout the county, according to the attorney general's office.
Agents made a series of undercover purchases and controlled buys across the county. The most prevalent drugs purchased through the investigation were heroin and prescription narcotics, including Xanax, oxycodone and methadone, agents said.
The arrests concluded a six-month investigation by the Westmoreland County Drug Task Force.
Still at large are:
• James Lang, 33, of Latrobe, charged with two counts each of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of heroin.
• Eric Vogel Jr., 25, of Unity, charged with single counts each of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of marijuana.
• Eric Vogel Sr., 47, of Unity, charged with single counts of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of heroin.
• Kala Gruszka, 22, of Latrobe, multiple counts of possession, possession with intent to deliver, and delivery of heroin.
• Lance Biggie, 21, of Youngwood, possession of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin and related charges for the possession and delivery of marijuana.
Three suspected dealers were arrested during the weekend, according to state agents.
• Nicholas Helfferich, 29, of Churchill, Allegheny County, is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bond on multiple charges of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of oxycodone and marijuana.
• William Marshall, 34, of Unity is in the county prison in lieu of bond on charges of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of heroin, as well as criminal conspiracy.
• Joseph C. Celmer, 42, of Loyalhanna is in the prison in lieu of bond on charges of possession with intent to deliver methadone and delivery of methadone.
The drug task force routinely conducts sweeps of street-level dealers and uses the information gleaned from arrests to target mid- to upper-level drug dealers by the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation.
The Office of Attorney General has established a tip line for citizens to anonymously report drug-related activity in the community. The number is 1-800-442-8006.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.