Drug suspects arrested

February 21, 2013
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Photo courtesy of Canonsburg Police Department
Money and suspected drugs seized during an arrest Wednesday night in Canonsburg
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Damen Gamble
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Jason Hollman

Two men whom Canonsburg police suspect of selling about $40,000 in heroin each week in the borough were arrested Wednesday night during a traffic stop on Euclid Avenue near Adams Avenue.

Taken into custody were the driver, Jason Hollman, 42, of 200 Alexander Ave., Strabane, and his passenger, Damen Gamble, 22, of 416 Giffin Ave., Canonsburg. Hollman had 250 stamp bags of heroin in five bricks. The estimated street value was $3,700. Gamble had 100 stamp bags in two bricks with a street value of $1,500. He also had $2,000.

Canonsburg police Sgt. Al Coghill said police had received information that the two men were going into Pittsburgh on a daily basis between 7 and 10 p.m. They were then allegedly selling the drug in the Canonsburg and North Strabane Township areas.

Coghill and Sgt. Don Cross had received detailed information about their alleged activities, including what type of vehicle Hollman drives, and conducted surveillance on Hollman and Gamble over the last several weeks.

On Wednesday, Cross checked Hollman’s residence and discovered the vehicle was not there. Coghill learned the two would be going to Pittsburgh to purchase heroin that they would resell in the Canonsburg area. Coghill said Thursday that he believed the two were selling $5,200 to $6,900 worth of heroin a day from their homes.

Police had the Canonsburg exit of Interstate 79 under surveillance and saw Hollman’s vehicle get off the highway about 8:13 p.m. and turn onto Morganza Road. Hollman was driving and his wife, Angela Hollman, was a front seat passenger. Gamble was a passenger in the back seat.

When police stopped the vehicle and asked Hollman about his travels, he reportedly could not provide any adequate answers. Police said that Angela Hollman was so nervous that she shook and had difficulty speaking. When she was told of the alleged activities, she told police that she had heroin in her purse. Jason Hollman, who did not have any heroin on him, told Coghill that his wife was holding the drug at his request.

Gamble told police that he had $2,000 and had heroin hidden in his underwear near his buttocks.

“Their arrest is a significant interruption in the drug trade in Canonsburg,” Mayor David Rhome said Thursday. “I applaud all those involved who helped make the arrest.

“This shows that people coming forward with intelligence does help us make arrests like the one (Wednesday) night,” he added.

Both men were arraigned before District Judge Ethan Ward on charges of possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin. They were placed in Washington County Jail on $50,000 bond.

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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