'Full-service' drug operation busted
Two Pittsburgh police officers investigating a neighborhood complaint early Wednesday uncovered what one police official called a "full-service" drug-dealing operation inside a Perry South home.
Police arrested Donald Lee Herring, 53, and Betty Jean Hunter, 45, in their Elsdon Street home after finding a cache of several hundred bags of suspected drugs and seven guns, including an assault rifle, investigators said.
Detectives Ken Simon and Rick Howe visited the couple's home late Tuesday after getting complaints of drug dealing in the area, Cmdr. Ed Kelly said. The detectives, working undercover, bought some drugs from the couple, then went back shortly after midnight with a search warrant, Kelly said.
A preliminary list of the drug stash seized included: 88 bags of marijuana, 32 bags of cocaine, 214 bags of crack cocaine, 77 bags of heroin and 100 crack pipes. Police said they also found the assault rifle, six pistols, scales, a police scanner and handcuffs.
Kelly said the exact amounts of the drugs and their value had not been calculated.
When the officers tried to serve the warrant, Herring struggled with them and tried to run away until he was bitten by a police dog, investigators said. Both Herring and Hunter were taken to the Allegheny County Jail on drug and weapons charges.
Cmdr. William Valenta of the city's narcotics and vice unit said the case will be forwarded to members of the new federal crime impact task force so that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can determine if federal charges are warranted.