Clairton man may have been distributing deadly heroin, attorney general's office says



The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office today charged a Clairton man who was found with more than 2,000 stamp bags of suspected heroin believed to be linked to the current outbreak of overdose deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin.

Arrested was Tywon L. Newby, 39, of North State Street. Stamp bags confiscated from a home in the 600 block of Third Street were marked “Sky High.”

Heroin linked by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office to deaths involving the presence of fentanyl, an extremely potent painkiller, were sold in packages marked “Theraflu” or “Bud Ice.”

The attorney general’s office today said their narcotics investigators believe the “Sky High” stamp might be related to the others.

“Investigators believe that drug dealers may be ‘rebranding’ the heroin now that the stamps, including ‘Theraflu’ and ‘Bud Ice,’ have been widely reported to be highly dangerous,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Agents from the attorney general’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation charged Newby with one felony county of possession with the intent to deliver heroin and one misdemeanor count of possession of heroin.

Agents twice bought heroin from Newby, according to a criminal complaint, the attorney general’s office said.

This morning they executed a search warrant on a home where Newby was staying.

Police found Newby asleep in the master bedroom on the second floor. They found 25 stamp bags of heroin inside the pocket of a vest hanging on the back of the door and about 2,400 more stamp bags in a shoebox inside the closet, according to an affidavit of probable cause. They also found more than $8,500 in cash.

Newby was arraigned before District Judge Armand A. Martin this afternoon.

Newby has a criminal record, online court records show. He has been found or pleaded guilty to felonies in cases from the late 1990s, including aggravated assault, a firearms violation and drug possession with intent to deliver.

He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $250,000 bond.


Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962. First Published January 30, 2014 3:58 PM

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