Pa. State Police seize $11 million in illicit drugs during past 3 months
State troopers across Pennsylvania confiscated 84 pounds of heroin and nearly 33 pounds of fentanyl between April 1 and June 30, according to an announcement.
The seizures were part of $11 million in illicit drugs that troopers got off the streets during the second quarter of 2019. The heroin was valued at $2.7 million and the fentanyl at $526,400, police said.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin, has contributed to an explosion of drug overdose deaths in the region for several years.
Drug overdose deaths in Westmoreland County involving fentanyl increased by 364% from 2015 to 2016, according to a coroner’s report. The drug contributed to 367 deaths in Westmoreland from Jan. 1, 2016, to July 1, 2019.
Fentanyl has been the top contributor to drug overdose deaths in Allegheny County since 2016, according to medical examiner statistics. From 2016 to 2018, fentanyl contributed to 1,287 deaths there.
Other drugs seized by troopers statewide between April and June include:
• 25 pounds of cocaine valued at $539,675.
• 1,385 pounds of processed marijuana valued at $4.1 million.
• 38 pounds of methamphetamines valued at $384,700.
“Significant drug seizures result from routine traffic stops as well as in-depth investigations involving several law enforcement agencies,” Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, said in a statement. “Our continuing interdiction efforts underscore the department’s commitment to stopping drug smugglers and dealers in Pennsylvania.”
Some busts during that time period in this region include:
- State police in March found 20,000 stamp bags of suspected heroin hidden in a sport utility vehicle being driven by a Philadelphia man near mile marker 78 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Mt. Pleasant Township.
- In April, state police in Greensburg arrested two New York men for allegedly attempting to deliver more than $200,000 worth of marijuana to Southwestern Pennsylvania. Troopers found 75 one-pound, vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana during a traffic stop at the New Stanton interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Troopers in May seized an estimated $2 million of suspected heroin after pulling over an SUV driven by a Philadelphia woman along the turnpike in Somerset County.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .