By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

City police increase their crackdown on narcotics in Carrick


More than 12 drug arrests were made in Carrick and Overbrook last month as city police and narcotics detectives continue to increase their presence and crackdown on narcotics throughout Zone 3 neighborhoods.

Several of those arrests were described in detail by Zone 3 community relations officer Christine Luffey during a monthly crime report at last Monday’s meeting of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch.

“I can honestly tell you this,” officer Luffey said. “Our officers and narcotics detectives are really crushing Carrick.”

Last month, police arrested 28-year-old Nicholas Jackson in the 1700 block of Mt. Joseph Street after police simultaneously executed two search warrants on locations where drug activity was suspected.

One location was a home on Mt. Joseph Street and the other was in Wilkinsburg. According to the report. Police uncovered marijuana, packaging materials, cell phones, and digital scales at both locations where Mr. Jackson resided. He is facing several drug-related charges.

Two arrests were made on April 9 at 7:15 p.m. after police in the Hill District lost sight of a vehicle they were tracking. Officers in Carrick later discovered the white Pontiac in a convenience store parking lot on Brownsville Road. According to the report, they observed the driver exchange illegal narcotics with a female suspect in the parking lot. Both were arrested.

Another arrest occurred in the 300 block of Copperfield Avenue after police responded to a 911 report of gunfire outside the home. Officers observed signs of forced entry at the residence. Inside the home, they discovered five pounds of marijuana and an illegally possessed firearm. The male suspect was arrested at the scene.

On April 10, a male suspect was arrested after his probation officer notified police that he failed to appear in court. Detectives found the suspect outside of his home in the 100 block of Kirk Avenue at 4:04 p.m.

Police uncovered drugs and hypodermic needles inside the home. The suspect was charged with possession in addition to the two bench warrants.

Two arrests were made on April 11 at 7:40 p.m. after police executed a search warrant in response to reports of narcotics being sold from a residence in the 100 block of Parkfield Street.

Inside the home they recovered guns, ammunition, cocaine, marijuana, and a digital scale. Two children under the age of five were also in the home. Two suspects were taken into custody at the scene and charged with possession of narcotics, possession with the intent to deliver, and endangering the welfare of children.

Zone 3 police executed a search warrant with the assistance of Pittsburgh SWAT teams in the 300 block of Santron Avenue on April 18 at 6 a.m. Officers removed firearms, ammunition, drugs, and illegal narcotics from the home. One arrest was made.

Zone 3 officers also assisted members of the U.S. Marshals Western Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force in the arrest of a male suspect who was wanted for multiple drug-related crimes.

Police observed the suspect’s car in convenience store parking lot on Brownsville Road. When officers approached the man, they discovered 12 bags of heroin and marijuana in the vehicle.

Officers were conducting a routine patrol on Brownsville Road when they pulled over a black Hyundai with a burned-out tail light. The driver had a suspended license and also admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle. Police conducted a search and found crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in addition to other paraphernalia. The suspect was arrested at the scene.

“That goes to affirm everything that I told you about us caring about our community is true,” officer Luffey said. “We’ve done a lot of work with a lot of agencies. Probation, SWAT team, working with the marshals. We’re trying and we’re trying really hard.”

A resident in attendance asked if there was an update on recent gunfire heard on Valera Street. Police said two individuals opened gunfire on a man who was sitting in a parked car, but the victim has been uncooperative and no arrests have been made.

Pittsburgh Police Lt. Lou Caporali also attended the meeting as he is filling in for Zone 3 Cmdr. Karen Dixon during a brief absence. Lt. Caporali is returning to Zone 3 after spending several years in Zone 5.

Lt. Caporali provided a brief update regarding the numerous complaints about unlicensed dirt bikes being ridden at high-speeds through neighborhood streets. He said police have narrowed down the search for the offenders to a couple of locations.

“We’ve narrowed it down to a couple of locations where we think they live,” Lt. Caporali said. “Obviously we aren’t going to chase these guys, due to risk of serious injury. We have a few names.”

State representative Harry Readshaw also attended the meeting and announced he is working on a plan with the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to mandate elementary-level addiction education.

“I believe teaching about addiction in high school is too late,” Mr. Readshaw said. “We have to get it in the elementary schools. I would like it to be mandated to all school districts in the commonwealth.”

The next Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch meeting will be June 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Concord K5 auditorium. The July and August meetings will be held in the Birmingham United Church of Christ on Carrick Avenue.



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