LAWRENCE COUNTY, Pa. - The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest Tuesday of “the single largest heroin dealer in the county.”
District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said he hopes the arrest of Michael Schmidt Sr. will mean fewer heroin-related deaths.
“I believe last year we had 33 accident heroin overdoses,” Lamancusa said.
That statistic is not something Lamancusa is proud of, but he is proud of his team’s work in the most recent roundup.
According to Lamancusa, $3 million to $6 million of heroin that was distributed over a year is now halted. He said four homes were searched Tuesday and 10 people were arrested.
Lamancusa said Schmidt's home on Clarence Avenue in New Castle is only a few hundred feet from a school.
“There was money in secret compartments and in suitcases that were packed away. The heroin itself was actually buried,” Lamancusa said.
Investigators told Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic that their investigation started about a year ago, and many of the people connected were family members.
“In actuality, it made it more difficult for us to access this network because it was close-knit. It’s harder to crack a family,” Lamancusa said.
Lamancusa said he hopes this major drug bust shows other drug dealers that they can’t hide for long.
“It sends a message of reassurance to the residents of Lawrence County that we are gaining ground on the community’s drug problem,” Lamancusa said.