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Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse

Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Officer Kevin Rehak, of Westmoreland Park Police, escorts Scott Matthew Burbidge, 27, of Penn Township from District Judge James Albert's office after his arraignment for possession of 13 heroin bags and drug paraphernalia brought into the courthouse on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 10:39 p.m.
 

A Penn Township man is charged with bringing 13 stamp bags of heroin into the Westmoreland County Courthouse on Tuesday.

Scott Matthew Burbidge, 27, set off the metal detector at the main entrance to the Greensburg courthouse about 1:40 p.m., county park police said.

Officer William Myers found the drugs when he waved a security wand over Burbidge's left front pants pocket to determine what activated the metal detector, according to an affidavit.

“After a few minutes, Mr. Burbidge removed a white square container from his left front pocket and confessed” that it contained heroin, it said.

In addition, police allege, they found Burbidge carrying five used stamp bags, large rubber bands that could be used as tourniquets to inject heroin, cotton swabs, three hypodermic needles and $475.

Park police Cpl. Charles Dyche found 8 milligrams of Suboxone — a drug used to treat narcotics addiction — inside Burbidge's wallet, according to the affidavit. He did not have a prescription for the drug, authorities said.

Burbidge was en route to get a gun permit at the sheriff's department, authorities said.

“We have some serious charges here filed against you,” Greensburg District Judge James Albert told Burbidge as he was arraigned.

“I'm almost at a loss for words here ... at the courthouse,” Albert added. “It doesn't reflect well.

“Heroin is a detriment to society. We have a ripple effect from heroin. We get other violations of the law because of it,” he said.

Burbidge, who works at a beer distributor, indicated he has not undergone treatment for drug abuse.

He told authorities he planned to use the money he was carrying to buy a shotgun after leaving the courthouse.

Burbidge declined comment.

Burbidge, who was jailed in lieu of posting $75,000 bond, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 7 before Albert on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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