The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 24, 2012

Pgh. man convicted of drug charges

Sandra K Reabuck

SOMERSET — A Pittsburgh area hip-hop artist was convicted Wednesday by a Somerset County jury on drug delivery charges in connection with a large amount of heroin with a street value of $80,000 that was seized on the Pennsylvania Turnpike four years ago by state police.

Khalid-Ibn Abdullah Kareem, 29, was one of four men who were arrested by state police in November 2008.

Sgt. Anthony DeLuca, now retired, stopped an SUV for traffic codes violations as it was traveling west through the Allegheny Tunnel late at night. At the time, DeLuca said he noticed a strong smell of a substance often used to mask the scent of drugs. He also said two of the men inside appeared to be nervous.

A drug-sniffing dog was called in and the heroin was found in a yellow shopping bag hidden in a rear jack compartment, according to news stories at the time.

Kareem had entered a guilty plea to one count of an ungraded felony in early 2010, but later asserted that he was innocent and hired Pittsburgh attorney Paul Gettleman to represent him at trial.

District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said Kareem’s case was the only one remaining from the 2008 arrest. His three co-defendants had entered guilty pleas, she said.

Judge John Cascio set sentencing for Dec. 5.

The district attorney requested that Kareem’s $50,000 bond be revoked, but the judge denied the motion.


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