Suspected major Mon Valley heroin dealer returned to Washington Co.

July 19, 2013
Ashley N. Byrd

A Donora woman charged as a major heroin dealer was returned Friday to Washington County to face trial after being held since her January arrest on probation violations in Westmoreland County.

Ashley Renee Byrd, 28, of 637 Fifth St., who was charged with possessing 74 bricks of heroin, was scheduled to appear in the case Aug. 1 before Washington County Judge Katherine B. Emery. Her alleged accomplice, Quinte L. Crane, 35, of the same address, remained lodged in Allegheny County jail, awaiting a trial date in the case. State police raided their home Jan. 9 and claimed to have seized the equivalent of 3,700 stamp bags of the drug, small amounts of crack and marijuana, $33,000, a loaded .45-caliber revolver with its serial numbers removed and many digital scales, the affidavit indicates.

Byrd, whose bond was set by District Judge Mark Wilson at $500,000, was immediately placed in Westmoreland County jail for failure to meet the terms of her probation in 2008 drug arrests in Monessen. Court officials there lost track of her after she moved without notice and failed to meet weekly with her probation officer or attend mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, court records indicate. She also tested positive for cocaine, according to a court entry the day she was arrested. Byrd was charged by state police with possession of heroin with intent to deliver, drug possession, being a felon prohibited from possessing a firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number, conspiracy and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In a separate raid July 11, the Washington County district attorney’s office arrested the woman’s brother, seizing nearly as much heroin from his home. Christopher D. Byrd, 30, of 1321 Gilmore Ave., was released on $200,000 bond, facing many of the same charges and a preliminary hearing Thursday before Wilson. His sister was relocated to Washington County jail.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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