A large quantity of heroin was taken off the streets of Monongahela for the second time in just over 48 hours after city police arrested two Monessen residents who were found inside a West Main Street apartment with the suspected drug Monday night.
Cameron Michael Grogan, 20, of 31 Columbus Drive, and Candice Marie Jackson, 24, of 616 Division St., were found inside an apartment at 205 W. Main St., with 29 bundles containing 288 stamp bags of suspected heroin along with two loaded weapons. Police believe they were mid-level dealers of the drug.
Police Chief Brian Tempest said officers Stephen Kenyon and Larry Maraldo, along with his dog Benny, responded to the apartment about 8 a.m. after getting a call from the lease holder. She told police she went to clean it when she discovered an open door and lights on inside the apartment. She told police the apartment was supposed to be vacant.
The officers found Grogan and Jackson in a back bedroom. Grogan was sitting on the bed while Jackson was seated on the floor. In plain view were drug items including the heroin as well as a .22-caliber Beretta and 9 mm Kel-Tec, both loaded, police said.
“We are assuming they were organizing the drug for distribution,” Tempest said Tuesday. “They had scales and cellphones, which all gave the appearance of distribution. They also had a small bag of marijuana.”
Tempest said two prescription bottles with the labels removed were also found that contained a variety of different pills. Those drugs are being sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. Police also found $540, although Grogan told police the money did not belong to him.
When police tried to take Grogan into custody, he struggled with the officers. Maraldo suffered minor injuries, but did not require medical treatment.
Tempest said the woman who holds the lease on the apartment was last there a few weeks ago. The chief speculated the two could have been squatting there for a week or two. Police also received complaints about suspicious activity in the area involving Grogan.
Monongahela police arrested Christopher Miles, 21, of Clairton, Saturday morning after they found him with 100 stamp bags of suspected heroin, a bag containing a half-gram of the drug and five grams of crack during a traffic stop on East Main Street. Miles also had $500 in his pocket.
Police are working with the Washington County district attorney’s office to seize the money and the Ford F-150 pickup truck Miles was driving. Tempest said the truck was registered to a Carroll Township man who said he had rented it to another person.
“This department has a very aggressive, good group of officers who are very alert during stops and other calls,” Tempest said. “I think they feed off each other’s successes. I am proud of their work. And we will have more arrests coming.”
Tempest said stamp bags are selling for an average of $10 to $15 each.
“But it is a matter of supply and demand,” he added. “I have heard of a stamp bag selling for as low as $7. When you take mid-level dealers off the street, the cost will likely go up.”
They were arraigned before District Judge Gary Havelka on numerous counts of possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of paraphernalia as well as persons not to possess firearms, criminal mischief, conspiracy and criminal trespass. Grogan, who is also charged with resisting arrest, was placed in Washington County Jail on $40,000 bond. Jackson, who is also wanted on a Westmoreland County probation detainer, was placed in jail on $25,000 bond. They are scheduled for preliminary hearings May 5 before District Judge Mark Wilson.