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Authorities net largest amount of heroin in county history


By Maria Miller 

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Investigators took three people into custody Thursday and seized more than $250,000 worth of heroin from a Richland Township apartment. It's an investigation that took three years with help from local, state and federal agencies, and an investigation authorities say netted an unprecedented find. 

"This had the makings of every element of a big drug business," said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

James Hendricks, Dian Lassiter and Logan Harris were arrested Thursday after investigators say Hendricks sold 150 stamp bags of heroin to an undercover officer. Police said it was Hendricks' apartment where they made an even bigger find. 

"Their location was a process center. They processed heroin to put out on the streets and that's what they did every day," said Kevin Price of the Cambria County Drug Task Force. 

Police said Hendricks was the kingpin of the ring, responsible for distributing at least $100,000 worth of heroin throughout Cambria, Somerset, Blair and Indiana counties every month.

"This is the largest heroin operation that I've seen or that we've seen as far as what we were able to seize and track as far as what they were distributing," said Price. 

In addition to nearly $250,000 worth of heroin ready to sell, police said they also took packaging materials, scales, more than $5,000 in cash and two loaded handguns from the apartment. They said they also found 13 cellphones and dozens of rental car records. 

"These are ways that drug dealers use to avoid detection by changing cars, changing cellphones and changing their ways of delivering drugs," said Callihan. 

"They would move from place to place, sometimes from apartments, to homes, to hotels," said Price. "They knew we were sort of after them."

Hendricks, Lassiter and Harris are in the Cambria County prison with bond set at $1 million a piece. 

Authorities tell 6 News the investigation is far from over, saying they do expect more arrests in the coming weeks.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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