ShareThis Page
News

'Full-service' drug operation busted

| Thursday, Aug. 19, 2004, 12:00 p.m.

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me