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South Neighborhoods
Drug sweep nets 14 suspects

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

By Mary Niederberger

A drug investigation that started 11 months ago in Clairton resulted yesterday in charges against 23 people suspected of selling heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy in the South Hills.

By the end of the day, 14 of the suspects were in custody and two more were expected to turn themselves in to authorities today.

Local police and agents of state Attorney General Mike Fisher will continue to search for the remaining seven suspects, said Sean Connolly, Fisher's press secretary. Connolly declined to identify which of the suspects remain at large.

The arrests "put a major dent into drug trafficking in the South Hills," Fisher said.

The charges were announced by Fisher during a news conference yesterday morning at the Bethel Park Community Center. He identified eight of the suspects as upper level dealers, another eight as mid-level dealers and another seven as working at the street level.

Agents from the attorney general's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation conducted the investigation, assisted by local police departments. The investigation used a statewide grand jury.

Fisher said his office spent $150,000 on the investigation in excess of the funds it already allocates to the Allegheny County district attorney's office.

Fisher, supported by a grand jury presentment, said the investigation started Sept. 7, 2001, when agents executed a search warrant at the residence of William Korp, 23, of Clairton.

The presentment gave this account:

That day, agents seized 50 packets of suspected heroin marked "mickey mouse" and 99 packets of suspected heroin marked "onda run," along with a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition, syringes and cash. The substances tested positive for heroin both during field tests and analysis at the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab.

A second search warrant was executed at Korp's residence on Oct. 19, 2001. Investigators seized 34 syringes, numerous empty stamp bags, a cut-off rifle and ammunition and other drug paraphernalia. While agents were there, several people came to the residence to buy heroin from Korp.

It was after the second seizure that Korp decided to cooperate with authorities. From that point, Korp started to identify his suppliers and customers, who in turn identified theirs.

Among those charged yesterday, and identified by Fisher as upper level dealers, and the charges they face are:

David M. Brazell, 30, of Bethel Park, two counts each of possession of Ecstasy and marijuana.

Eugene J. Butler, 23, of West View, one count each of possession of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana and criminal conspiracy.

Anthony L. Goins, 20, of Pittsburgh, four counts each of possession of heroin and cocaine, possession with intent to deliver heroin and cocaine and two counts of delivery of heroin and cocaine.

Charles R. Nobles, 22, of Dormont, one count each of possession of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, resisting arrest and three counts of aggravated assault.

Scott Wygal, 21, of Carnegie, eight counts of possession of heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy and marijuana, six counts of possession with intent to deliver, five counts of delivery, and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prohibited offensive weapon and criminal conspiracy.

Quiently L. Henley, 26, of Clairton, possession of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Samuel Donelly, 28, of Pittsburgh, four counts each of possession of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin and criminal conspiracy, and three counts of delivery of heroin.

Luis Carde, 30, of Pittsburgh, two counts each of possession of heroin and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver heroin and marijuana, delivery of heroin and marijuana, and criminal conspiracy.

Fisher said grand jury testimony identified Carde as a dealer who allegedly bought 40 to 50 bricks of heroin at a time from suppliers in New York City and had others bring the drugs back to Pittsburgh.

The local police departments that assisted with yesterday's sweep and the investigation were Pittsburgh, Braddock Hills, Jefferson Hills, Bethel Park, Swissvale, Monroeville, Clairton, West View, Edgewood, Elizabeth Township, East Pittsburgh and Pitcairn.

Mary Niederberger is a free-lance writer.

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