Ellwood City police find hundreds of bags of heroin in car

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In one of its biggest busts in the town's history, Ellwood City police today seized nearly 800 bags of heroin, resulting in four arrests.

The discovery stemmed from a traffic stop about 1:15 a.m. at Wayne Avenue near Fifth Street, said borough patrolman Michael McBride.

Erica Bennett, 25, Donsha Crutcher, 24, Edward Terry, 45 and Terry Brown, 33, all of Detroit, were charged with possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy with intent to deliver, both felonies, and possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy, both misdemeanors.

Police in the Lawrence County community had set up surveillance based on information from a New Castle narcotics officer. Officer McBride said police also had information that drugs were being moved from Detroit into the borough.

"You never used to hear about this stuff going on in smaller municipalities," he said.

Officer McBride said he pulled over the vehicle after it failed to use a signal, and the driver gave him permission to search the vehicle.

The bust may not have happened though, without the borough's dog, Jocek, who led police to the drugs, Officer McBride said.

In a compartment inside the driver's-side rear wheel well, police found 789 bags of heroin wrapped in a softball-size duct tape ball and layered with grease to mask the odor, Officer McBride said.

One of the men told police they were heading to a residence in the 800 block of South Street, which police believe is a stash house, Officer McBride said.

All four were being held in the Lawrence County Jail.

A fifth person, driver Tamara Headen, was not charged. Officer McBride said she told police she was paid to drive the car.

Officer McBride said Jocek has logged more than 200 narcotics arrests during the past six years.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.


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