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Police: Marijuana operation found after 3-hour SWAT standoff in Carrick

Jacob Tierney
| Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 7:21 a.m.

SWAT team officers responded to a call from a woman who said her boyfriend was threatening her with a gun in Pittsburgh's Carrick neighborhood Monday afternoon, but by the end of a three-hour standoff , both the boyfriend and the caller were in custody on drug charges.

Anthony Michael Dirda Jr., 40, and Marie Anderson, 32, are charged with conspiracy to manufacture or deliver or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and numerous other charges related to what court paperwork describes as a large marijuana-growing operation on the second floor of the couple's Alpaus Street home.

Police found 30 mason jars filled with marijuana in the basement and marijuana plants upstairs, court records say.

Officers arrived at the scene shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday, when Pittsburgh 911 got a call from a neighbor who said Anderson and Dirda had been fighting.

The fight turned physical, and Dirda was “looking for his pistol,” the caller told police.

Police, believing Dirda could be armed and holding Anderson against her will, called the SWAT team, according to court records.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Anderson answered officers' phone call and came outside. She told police that her neighbor was lying, and that Dirda was not home.

Police didn't believe her and surrounded the house. About half an hour later, Dirda came out with his hands raised, according to court records.

Police arrested Dirda and entered the home, where they reportedly found the marijuana. Detectives performed a more thorough search of the building Monday night after receiving a warrant and seized the drugs as evidence.

Anderson and Dirda are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before Judge Jeffrey A. Manning on Feb. 21.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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