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$50K in drugs seized from Johnstown home

Two in custody in relation to bust

By Maria Miller
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Two people have been charged after police found thousands of dollars worth of heroin, cash and guns inside an apartment in Johnstown early Wednesday morning.

Authorities told 6 News their belief has always been that the vast majority of violent crime stems from drugs, that's why they said they've taken a bigger approach in Johnstown, working together with local and state agencies to combat the problem. They said they're already seeing results.

"Mainly our biggest problem right now is heroin so the bust today really put a significant dent into the heroin that would be going on to the street," said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

Police said they found more than 4,000 stamp bags of heroin worth nearly $50,000 at an apartment on Iolite Avenue in the city's Woodvale section early Wednesday morning.

"They also recovered approximately $2,000 in cash, two handguns and arrested two people," said Johnstown Police Chief Craig Foust.

Eric Westover and Marchel Robinson are facing a slew of drug and firearms charges that authorities say might make it to the federal level. Johnstown police said their arrests were the result of an ongoing initiative they've been conducting for the past eight months with state and local agencies.

"I think you can tell by the events in the city recently that Johnstown police has realigned staff to combat the drug problem after the drug and crime report," said Callihan. "With help of the attorney general's office and the Cambria County Drug Task Force, we've been able to work with the city to really take drugs off the streets."

"We're moving rather quickly with our investigations as far as obtaining undercover drug buys, and obtaining search warrants and serving those warrant(s)," said Foust.

And it seems to be working because Foust said Wednesday mornings' bust is the eighth significant find the group has made in the city since October.

"We've been told that the price of heroin in Johnstown and the surrounding communities is starting to go back up," said Foust. "We take that as an indication that we're taking a significant amount of heroin off the street and hopefully that the dealers will get the message."

Westover and Robinson were still awaiting their arraignments as of news time Wednesday, but it is expected they'll head straight to jail Wednesday evening. As for the work being conducted between Johnstown police, the county drug task force and the state attorney general's office, authorities said they're just beginning.


 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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