The Allegheny County district attorney's office confirmed Thursday that two McDonald's restaurants, one in Allegheny County and the other in Westmoreland County, where narcotics officers bought heroin from employees, have the same owner.
However, Mike Manko, a spokesman for the office, said investigators have no reason to believe that Iftikhar Malik, listed as the president of Malik Enterprises, which owns the McDonald's franchises, was aware that heroin was being sold out of the restaurants.
"We have no indication that the owner was aware of the activity at either restaurant and neither suspect has implicated the owner in their behavior," Mr. Manko said.
Mr. Malik could not be reached Thursday evening.
Shantia Marie Dennis, 26, of Bessemer Avenue in East Pittsburgh, was arrested Wednesday and charged with selling heroin in Happy Meal boxes out of the drive-thru window at the McDonald's at 6361 Penn Ave. in East Liberty after the district attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team received a tip from an informant.
On Jan. 14, officers also received a tip that heroin was being sold out of the McDonald's at 3820 U.S. Route 22 in Murrysville. After a controlled buy in the parking lot, officers arrested Theodore Levon Upshaw, a 28-year-old employee with numerous prior drug offenses who was living in an alternative housing facility in Braddock after receiving early release from a three-year sentence for possession with intent to deliver, the district attorney's office said.
Mr. Manko said there is no indication that Mr. Upshaw and Ms. Dennis knew each other.
Robert Zullo: email@example.com or 412-263-3909.