California sheriff's deputy arrested in Pennsylvania pot bust
YORK — An investigation involving several law enforcement agencies ended in police seizing nearly 250 pounds of marijuana from three men, including a California sheriff's deputy, last week, York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said.
Police laid out dozens of bags of marijuana, fanned-out $100 and $20 bills, a handgun and other items during a news conference Monday at the Penn Township municipal offices. The evidence was seized during the West Manheim Township drug bust.
Kearney commended the York County Drug Task Force and Penn Township, Springettsbury Township, Hanover Borough and York Area Regional police departments for working together on the investigation that resulted in the arrests.
The drug bust occurred Dec. 29 when police conducted a traffic stop, Kearney said, and had a street value of more than $2 million. The men had allegedly tried to deliver marijuana to a person, according to an affidavit filed with District Judge James Miner.
Police found Christopher Mark Heath, 37, Tyler Neil Long, 31, and Ryan Jay Falsone, 27, all of Bangor, Calif., inside a vehicle with about 122 sealed bags of marijuana and $11,000 in cash, Kearney said.
The men peacefully surrendered to police, Kearney said. After his arrest, Heath admitted to being a sheriff's deputy in Yuba County, California.
Police did not know before the arrest that Heath worked in law enforcement. He had his badge with him in the vehicle, and police seized his duty firearm, Kearney said.
Kearney said the traffic stop was part of a coordinated effort, planned by the drug task force and the assisting police departments.
“Suffice it to say this was not a routine traffic stop,” Kearney said.
Long and Heath admitted driving the marijuana from California to Pennsylvania, the affidavit states.
The district attorney in Yuba County, Patrick McGrath, said he is reviewing all the cases in which Heath had an investigative role to determine whether they are still viable.