Washington home raided, suspected heroin found

February 26, 2013
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A Washington man and an accomplice from Pittsburgh are in the Washington County jail after suspected heroin was found during a raid Tuesday of an apartment in the 500 block of East Maiden Street in Washington.

Matthew Bryce Leavens, 20, of 518 E. Maiden St., Apt. 2, and Wayne Fitzgerald Murphy Jr., 20, whose last known address was Pittsburgh, were taken into custody after members of the Washington County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and members of the state police vice and crime units served the warrant signed by Washington County Judge Katherine Emery about 6 a.m. Also assisting were the state police K-9 unit and Washington police.

Rick Gluth, task force director, said the two had been dealing out of the apartment. Task force detectives have had an ongoing investigation into their activity for the last several months.

Investigators found 287 bags of suspected heroin, including 284 bags packaged for distribution, spoons with suspected heroin residue, syringes and unused stamp bags.

The amount of heroin seized was about what they were dealing each day, Gluth said.

“The operation demonstrates what can result from cooperative, professional police efforts,” said Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone. “I appreciate the work done by state police, city police and task fore detectives in continuing to aggressively pursue those selling dangerous drugs in our community.”

Both men were arraigned before District Judge Robert Redlinger on charges of delivery of heroin, possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were placed in jail on $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for March 11 before Redlinger.

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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