Couple held in Somerset heroin bust

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DeShawn Ulmer, 45, and Tameyka Lawrence, 19, both of Sheraden, are being held on $750,000 bail each in the Somerset County Jail, pending a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday before District Judge Susan Mankamyer in Boswell.

State police said Mr. Ulmer was seen driving his rented Dodge Charger at 6 p.m. Wednesday. He was headed east as he entered the Allegheny Tunnel with his headlights turned off.

Signs are posted as motorists approach the tunnel that headlights are required.

A trooper said he immediately began to pursue the vehicle, which sped away from him at speeds up to 78 mph in the 65 mph zone.

The car was spotted about eight miles farther east, and the driver was seen tossing a candy wrapper from the window.

The trooper, Cpl. Vincent S. Mock, said he pulled over Mr. Ulmer's car and found the driver was behaving nervously and claimed he was rushing to see his mother in a hospital.

Mr. Ulmer quickly offered that his license was suspended, that the car was rented, and he did not know by whom.

The officer asked for and obtained permission to search the vehicle. Police backup was summoned along with the troop's drug detecting dog, Bosko, which found in the trunk a box containing more than 1.5 pounds of suspected heroin.

Inside the box police found 25,000 single-dose packets of the drug, each with a stamped logo that reads either, "Jackson 5ive," or, "Blueprint."

Troopers said the amount is worth about $1 million.

An affidavit that supports the couple's arrest said the two were completing a round-trip run from Pittsburgh to Patterson, N.J., and back.

The seizure, Somerset County's second largest, was similar to the county's biggest drug bust, a highway stop in 2002.

Troopers reported they stopped Pamela "Auntie" Watson, 53, of the North Side, for the same headlight violation entering the same tunnel on the turnpike.

Ms. Watson had been returning to Pittsburgh from Newark, N.J., when police found 6.1 pounds of heroin stashed beneath the floor of the van.

Jim McKinnon can be reached at or 412-263-1939.


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