The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

April 8, 2013

$1M in heroin seized during traffic stop

SOMERSET — State police in Somerset County say they seized $1 million worth of heroin after a traffic stop on the turnpike Friday.

Law enforcement authorities are calling it one of the biggest drug busts on the turnpike in Somerset County history.

Trooper Michael Volk stopped a westbound Chevrolet Impala traveling 14 mph over the speed limit around 10 a.m.

In the the trunk were 1,000 bricks of heroin, authorities say.

“We believe this to be one of the largest seizures of a controlled substance ever in Somerset County,” District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said during a news conference Monday at the Somerset County Courthouse.

The driver was identified as Warren Charles Green IV, 27, of Pittsburgh.

“Trooper Volk’s action in making this stop has touched who’s to say how many lives,” Capt. Gregory Bacher said. “How many lives would be lost or at least changed drastically over a million dollars worth of heroin?”

Volk said the car was traveling through Somerset Township at 79 mph.

Troopers used a search warrant and a drug-sniffing dog. When they popped open the trunk, they found the heroin, they said.

Volk said each heroin brick contained five bundles. Each bundle contained 10 stamp bags worth about $20 in street value.

Investigators wouldn’t say where Green picked up the drugs or where he was headed.

But it’s a good bet at least some of the drugs would end up in Somerset County,  Lazzari-Strasiser said.

“There’s some perception that the turnpike is just a thoroughfare, and because it was on the turnpike that is wasn’t intended for Somerset County,” she said. “These stamp bags, whatever city their ultimate destination would be, would have ended up here in some form or fashion either by somebody going to Pittsburgh to buy it or a smaller quantity for sale being delivered here.”

Green was arraigned by on-call District Judge Sandra Stevanus of Confluence on a charge of possession with intent to deliver heroin. Green was sent to the Somerset County Jail, where he is being held on $750,000 bond.

There have been other high-profile drug busts on the turnpike in Somerset County.

In August 2009, troopers seized an estimated $1 million in heroin during a traffic stop. Deshawn N. Ulmer, 45, of Pittsburgh, was driving a Dodge Charger and was entering the Allegheny Tunnel without headlights on when he was stopped.

Trooper Westley Berkebile found the 25,000 stamp bags of heroin stuffed in the trunk.

Troopers said the driver was headed to Pittsburgh.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • amd 31 New filtration system targets mine water

    Orange stones surround a black plastic discharge pipe at the Rock Tunnel abandoned mine drainage site.
    There is a rusty tint to some nearby water and mud, too.
    Soon, though, a new filtration system, consisting of shallow vegetative wetlands, a settling basin, concrete trough, buried limestone and aeration component, is expected to help return those elements back to their natural appearances.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland to weigh speed study

    A group of Theatre Drive residents has convinced Richland Township’s supervisors to look into the costs of a special traffic study weighing whether their residential neighborhood’s current 35 mph speed limit should be reduced.

    July 30, 2014

  • Border battle lingers: Adams Twp. wants court to become involved

    Adams Township officials are asking the Cambria County court to once again become involved in its long-running boundary line dispute with Richland Township.

    July 30, 2014

  • FRANK BURNS 31 Officials urge creation of crime watch groups

    State Rep. Frank Burns told the crowd about the night his life changed forever.
    After leaving a AAABA game, the then-16-year-old Burns was surrounded by three males, “dancing” around him like boxers and taunting him.
    They attacked and he was on the ground. He took a powerful kick to the face.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Injured officer back on duty

    Two people were injured in a three-car accident Tuesday evening when a truck failed to yield to a Johnstown police officer who was rushing to assist another patrol car, police said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimm, Michael Child rapist to report to jail Monday; medical concern cited

    A Johnstown man set to pick a jury today on charges he sexually abused two boys, entered a guilty plea in Cambria County court Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIFT JOHNSTOWN ‘They got it done’: Lift Johnstown recognizes pair for trailhead work

    Rob McCombie and Steve Coy showed up Wednesday at a Path of the Flood Trail spur in East Conemaugh dressed like they were ready to get to work.
    Instead, a group of community advocates were waiting there to thank them for the hard work they’ve already put in.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local News in Brief | Philly man arrested for selling heroin

    July 30, 2014

  • Conemaugh Valley board tackles security, pupils’ instruction time

    The Conemaugh Valley school board on Wednesday agreed to improve security at the high school and increase instructional time and add art classes at the elementary school.

    July 30, 2014

  • Wine tasting, picnic will aid animals

    Briar Valley Winery and Bedford County Humane Society are hosting Yappy Hour 2014 at the vineyard grounds on Stein Road in Everett.

    July 30, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads