When police departments get tips from residents about possible drug activity in their neighborhoods, investigators usually advise them that it might take some time before they see an arrest.
Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said he asked for assistance about a month ago from the Washington County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force for help in investigating suspected drug activity involving Cary Radabaugh, 41, of 789 E. Railroad St. Radabaugh was taken into custody Saturday on an arrest warrant obtained the previous day by task force detectives. And when he was nabbed, police said he had two bricks of suspected heroin containing almost 100 stamp bags.
“The task force started the investigation within the last 30 days after we received information about suspected drug activity near his house, with vehicles coming and going,” Tempest said.
Task force detectives made arrangements with a confidential informant to purchase suspected heroin from Radabaugh on two occasions. Tempest said task force detectives set up surveillance in the area of Radabaugh’s home during the second transaction, when the informant allegedly purchased 10 stamp bags of suspected heroin.
Investigators conducted a traffic stop Saturday afternoon on Columbia Hollow Road in Carroll Township and took Radabaugh into custody. Found in the front pocket of his hooded shirt were two bricks containing 93 stamp bags, police said. Tempest said bricks usually contain 50 stamp bags, so they are unsure if Radabaugh had sold some of the suspected heroin. Radabaugh also had $147 in his pocket.
Since the end of April, police and task force detectives have confiscated almost 1,000 stamp bags of suspected heroin, as well as crack, marijuana and two loaded weapons.
“Every time I talk to District Attorney Gene Vittone, he asks how can he help us,” Tempest said. “And every single time, he comes through in helping us combat the drug situation in our area.”
Tempest said conducting a drug investigation is very expensive, not only getting money to pay for the drugs but the manpower necessary for the surveillance and investigation.
Radabaugh was arraigned before District Judge Jay Weller on two counts each of possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession of paraphernalia. He was placed in Washington County jail on $25,000 bond, pending a preliminary hearing May 29 before District Judge Mark Wilson. Additional charges stemming from the suspected drugs confiscated Saturday also will be filed against Radabaugh at Wilson’s office at a later date.