Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

  

June 24, 2011

Heroin trafficking investigation nets 15 dealers on Pittsburgh's Northside; many linked to "Crips" street gang

Devon-H-Horne-6-24-2011
Devon H. Horne
 

Ralph-Saunders-6-24-2011
Ralph Saunders
 

Davee-Ward-6-24-2011
Davee Ward
 

Michael-Currington-6-24-2011
Michael A. Currington 
 

HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and police officers from Pittsburgh, along with drug task force officers from Beaver and Butler counties, are in the process of arresting 15 suspected upper-level and mid-level drug dealers linked to a heroin trafficking throughout the region.

Attorney General Linda Kelly said today's arrests are the second phase of a narcotics and organized crime investigation that began in early 2010. In October 2010, agents from the Attorney General's Office and local law enforcement arrested 24 street-level dealers  in Allegheny, Beaver and Butler Counties.

Kelly said information developed as a result of those initial arrests determined that a substantial number of drug users from Butler and Beaver counties were traveling to the Northside of Pittsburgh in order to purchase heroin. Some were allegedly purchasing heroin in larger amounts, which was transported back to Butler and or Beaver Counties for resale to other users. 

The investigation used confidential informants, undercover drug "buys," controlled purchases and traffic stops to identify individuals who were distributing, transporting and selling heroin - with much of the drug activity allegedly occurring in and around public housing units on Pittsburgh's Northside.

Kelly said the investigation identified a number of upper-level and mid-level heroin dealers with connections to organized street gangs, including several suspected to be members or associates of the North Charles Street Crips, the Brighton Place Crips and the North View Heights Crips. 

Agents and local police also executed a series of search warrants throughout this investigation seizing 60 bricks of heroin, with a street value of nearly $30,000, along with cash and handguns.

Kelly said this investigation is the result of a new cooperative effort, with officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police assigned full-time to work with agents from the Attorney General's Office to target drug trafficking in the region.

The defendants will be prosecuted by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

Kelly thanked Allegheny District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., Beaver County District Attorney Anthony J. Berosh and Butler County District Attorney Richard A. Goldinger for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Kelly also thanked the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, along with Drug Task Forces and assisting local police departments from Beaver and Butler counties.

Below is a list of the defendants along with the charges that have been filed against them:

- Devon H. Horne, 24, 2450 North Charles St., Pittsburgh, is charged with five counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility, along with one count of criminal conspiracy.

- Ralph Saunders, 23, 2374 Josh Gibson Place, Pittsburgh, is charged with six counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility, along with three counts of criminal conspiracy.

- Davee Ward, 20, 415 McManus St., Pittsburgh, is charged with six counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility, along with four counts of criminal conspiracy.

- Michael A. Currington, 36, 108 Marwood St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal conspiracy.

- Lewis D. Gist, 31, 1901 Charles St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility.

- Brian Pinkney, 23, 820 Luella St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility.

- Brandon Reeves, 29, 1729 Bellaeu Drive, Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility.

- Lataysha McCoy, 22, 2501 North Charles St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal conspiracy.

- Juvenile (age 17), Marie Ave., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal conspiracy. 

- Juveline (age 17), Cronemeyer Ave., McKeesport, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal conspiracy. 

- Juvenile (age 16), Country Side Drive, McKees Rocks, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal conspiracy. 

- Chris Law, 51, 2503 Charles St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of delivery of a non-controlled substance represented to be a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy.

- Shaka A. McGhie, 20, 108 Marwood Ave., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communications facility.

Additionally, agents have identified and charged several other suspected drug dealers not directly associated with the "Crips," including:

- Tyler Thompson, 44, 94 Pasadena St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, delivery of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine and criminal use of a communications facility.

- Marcel Howze, 38, 300 Quincy St., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin and possession of heroin.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty)

# # #