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.
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.
- Donegal Township families fight driller to get clean water
- Police: Penn Township man was ‘lonely,’ so he called 911
- Latrobe school directors won’t forgive bill for WCCC land
- Police investigate Hempfield fight
- Mt. Pleasant hospital sets ‘exceptional’ example
- A Griffins great: Seton Hill soccer team supports 7-year-old honorary member
- Lab results questioned in fatal Mt. Pleasant car accident
- Ex-assistant at Penn-Trafford pleads guilty to sending inappropriate texts
- Greensburg will provide interpreter for soccer program
- Walker: Scottdale Fall Festival kicks off this weekend
- Land bank will handle Monsour deal