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Detectives make three arrests in drug ring

| Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2001, 12:00 p.m.

Four Pittsburgh residents face charges they participated in a large-scale drug trafficking ring that brought Ecstasy pills, cocaine, hashish and marijuana into the area.

Detectives with state Attorney General Mike Fisher's office early Monday arrested three suspects, including the alleged ringleader. The fourth remained at large last night.

The four were the target of a yearlong investigation by undercover detectives, during which they seized more than 7,000 Ecstasy pills, 2 pounds of cocaine, 10 pounds of marijuana, 107 marijuana plants, hashish and a stolen handgun.

'This group had a significant impact on drug dealing in western Pennsylvania,' Fisher said during a news conference Downtown.

Fisher identified Luis Carde, 29, of Hazelwood, as the leader of the ring. He is charged with multiple counts of drug possession and related charges, including possession with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy.

Carde remained in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bond.

'Carde is what I would refer to as a fairly sizable dealer,' Fisher said. 'He was a broker. He could broker whatever drug the street was looking for.'

Carde's girlfriend, Jennifer Beatty, 24, of Hazelwood, is charged with drug possession and related charges. Fisher said she helped operate the ring and collected drug debts for Carde.

Monroeville District Justice Walter Luniewski released Beatty on her own recognizance. She could not be reached for comment.

Scott Tenney, 27, of Mt. Washington, was identified by police as a middleman between Carde and street-level dealers. He is charged with drug possession and related charges.

Tenney was jailed on $5,000 cash bond.

Police were still searching last night for Teneka Shonelle McClung, 29, of Hazelwood. Fisher said she served as a 'mule' for Carde, bringing the drugs into Pittsburgh from New York City. She also is charged with drug possession and related charges.

Fisher said he could not estimate how much money the ring brought in from the sales. The Ecstasy pills, a drug increasingly popular among high school and college students, have a street value of more than $140,000, he said.

Fisher's office used undercover detectives, informants and wiretaps on Carde's phones to amass the evidence, which was presented to a statewide grand jury in June.

Fisher said the investigation will continue into who supplied Carde with the drugs in New York City and which street-level dealers participated in the ring.

David Conti can be reached at dconti@tribweb.com or (412) 441-0976.

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