Suspected heroin, cash, gun seized in Donora search

January 10, 2013
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Ashleigh Byrd
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Quinte Crane

Almost 4,000 baggies of suspected heroin along with $33,477 and a loaded .45-caliber handgun were seized Wednesday morning when members of the state police SERT team served a search warrant at a home at 612 Fifth St., Donora.

Taken into custody about 7 a.m. were Quinte Crane, 34, of McKeesport, who was wanted on a bench warrant in Allegheny County, and Ashleigh Byrd, 38, who lived at the Donora residence. She was wanted on a probation detainer in Westmoreland County.

Cpl. Frank Konek Jr., supervisor of the state police vice unit, said his unit and the Washington County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force started the investigation in October after getting complaints of drug trafficking at the residence.

“We followed up with controlled buys, which led to us obtaining a search warrant,” Konek said Wednesday afternoon. “We found pretty much what we expected based on the comings and goings at the house.”

The gun found had an obliterated serial number. Konek said Crane was a mid- to upper-level dealer.

Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone commended the work by state police, the task force as well as Donora police and sheriff’s deputies in eliminating a major heroin operation in the Mon Valley.

“This operation underscores the need for cooperative police work,” Vittone said. “We will continue to focus our efforts on eliminating and prosecuting dangerous drug dealers operating in the county.”

A 27-year-old McKeesport man was also in the house when the warrant was served, Konek said. Police will investigate to determine whether he had any involvement in the operation.

Charges of possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin and person not to possess a firearm will be filed against Crane at the office of District Judge Mark Wilson. He was placed in the Allegheny County jail on the warrant. Byrd will be charged with possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin. She is in the Westmoreland County jail on the detainer.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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