Attorney General Shapiro: “I promised to remain vigilant and arrest people peddling poison in Allegheny County – and I’ve kept that commitment.”
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges against 51 people for selling heroin, fentanyl, illegal prescription opioids, cocaine, and other drugs in Allegheny County.
“My Office is focused on charging drug dealers who plague the Pittsburgh region,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I’m committed to prosecuting the people peddling this poison in Allegheny County and across the Commonwealth. Today’s arrests are an important step in that process, and we’ll continue working with our law enforcement partners to keep this region safe.”
Today’s charges are the result of a ten month-long investigation involving the Office of Attorney General, the McKees Rocks Police Department and the Stowe Township Police Department. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement made a series of approximately 100 controlled purchases utilizing undercover officers and agents and confidential informants.
Many of the arrests in today’s roundup were for people considered mid-level drug dealers, including James Johnston, 30, of the 200 block of Munson Avenue in McKees Rocks, who was charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and other related offenses following a Grand Jury investigation into the overdose death of a McKees Rocks man.
“Good, solid law enforcement cooperation between my Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and the McKees Rocks and Stowe Township police departments led to these arrests and criminal charges filed today,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Law enforcement collaboration helps make our communities safer. We’re grateful to our law enforcement partners for their work on this investigation.”
Please click here for a full list of the 51 individuals charged today.
Since taking office, Attorney General Shapiro has emphasized a multi-pronged approach to fighting the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. His office has:
- Arrested on average nearly five drug dealers a day.
- Increased arrests of doctors and other medical personnel for illegal diversions of prescription drugs by 72 percent.
- Destroyed nearly 77 tons of drugs.
- Distributed 300,000 drug disposal pouches in 17 counties in Pennsylvania.
- Worked with the insurance industry to expand access to drug treatment.
- Helped lead an ongoing national investigation with nearly every Attorney General of the pharmaceutical industry for their role in fueling the opioid crisis in our country.
The defendants will be preliminarily arraigned before Allegheny County Magisterial District Judge Bruce Boni. James Johnston will be prosecuted by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and all other defendants will be prosecuted by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
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