Harrisburg police make heroin bust, 'major supplier' sought - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg police make heroin bust, 'major supplier' sought

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Two Harrisburg patrol officers are credited with busting a major drug operation over the weekend.

Five-year veteran Colin Kerns and five-week rookie Matt Novchich got a tip from a citizen, followed through, and found 138 bundles of heroin, according to police.

Authorities said Tuesday that the bust is tied to a larger federal investigation.

The announcement came during a safety briefing where the officers were present to get a moment of glory. Captain Colin Cleary commended both for a job well done.

"This is an excellent example of how a phone call ... information from a citizen, with the proper investigation, with the proper work by patrol officers like this, can yield excellent results," he said.

Cleary said the estimated street value of the heroin - branded with the label "Die Happy" - is as much as $26,000. The officers also recovered two guns, including an AK-47 rifle.

Captain Thomas Carter, head of the Criminal Investigation Department, said the city is committed to battling the city's drug problem.

"Zero tolerance," Carter said, "That's what we're striving to do: to make Harrisburg a safer place, make our visitors that come to our city feel safe."

Police did not reveal any other details. They said the investigation is ongoing and involves top federal agencies including the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Attorney's Office.

Dauphin County's Drug Task Force is also on board, according to District Attorney Ed Marsico. According to him, heroin has become rampant recently.

"Heroin has been a huge problem in the last couple months," he said. "We've seen a rash of heroin overdoses."

Marsico said many of those who have overdosed are young adults and teens. While he admits the problem is bad in Harrisburg, he attributes it to the city's place on the map.

"Because of location, Harrisburg has been a good drug hub," he said. "All highways converge here, we've got train accessibility."

Also import is the customers, Marsico said. The majority of heroin buyers are not urban-based, rather those who live in wealthier communities beyond city limits.

"What we see is a lot of suburban kids coming into Harrisburg to purchase heroin," he said.


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