2nd person charged in connection with heroin operation at hospital

Updated:

GREENSBURG, Pa. - A second person has been charged in connection with an alleged heroin sales operation from a local hospital room.

Robert William Rearick, 27, was arraigned Thursday morning by District Judge James Albert on a drug possession charge filed by city police.

Police said Rearick met an undercover informant at the front of Excela Hospital in Greensburg, then took him to a room in the intensive care unit and arranged a heroin sale.

Police said Rearick, of Greensburg, was selling heroin along with Lori Sullenberger, 37, of Youngwood, who was charged last month with selling drugs while she recovered from surgery at Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

Rearick is accused of obtaining 30 bags of heroin from Sullenberger and trying to deliver it to people waiting in a car outside the hospital, according to the charges.

Detectives intercepted Rearick in the lobby before he could complete the transaction and found the heroin in his pocket, according to the complaint.

District Judge James Albert set bond at $100,000. Rearick, who works as a painter, asked Albert why his bond was so high.

“Because you're in front of Judge Albert,” the judge said, noting it is his policy to set high bonds in cases involving the distribution of heroin. “Bond is set at $100,000 because it involved heroin, which is a detriment to society.”

“Nothing I can say but that it would be much better to be home and working,” Rearick said. “I made a bad decision that day.”

“Sounds like you're not going to make the bond,” Albert said.

“Obviously,” Rearick said. He was taken to the Westmoreland County Prison. He faces a preliminary hearing May 22 at 9 a.m. before Albert.

Sullenberger remains in jail in lieu of $125,000 bond.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.