IUP student busted with pot worth $115K, police say



An Indiana University of Pennsylvania senior has been jailed on drug charges after police confiscated more than 20 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value $115,000.

Indiana Borough police arrested Aaron Andrew Paul Gmuca, 24, following a traffic stop around 3 a.m. Monday.

Police said several occupants in the car “appeared to be attempting to hide a package underneath the seat of the vehicle.” That package yielded a vacuum-sealed bag containing $15,000 in cash.

"The male passenger was acting nervous.  I get him out of the car, and he's trying to conceal the large amount of money under the seat, which is pretty hard to do,” said Thomas Dessll of Indiana Borough Police.

Further investigation revealed the occupants -- who were not identified by police -- had just delivered a package to an Oak Street address. Police obtained a search warrant for the home and an additional warrant for a 2007 BMW at the home.


Inside the car, police said, was marijuana contained in 20 one-pound, vacuum-sealed bags.

A fourth warrant served on another vehicle leaving the home turned up a half-pound of marijuana, according to police.

An investigation uncovered a drug connection to New Jersey, police said.

Gmuca, an IUP senior, was charged with possession with intent to deliver, police said. Additional suspects are expected to be charged.

Gmuca, of Windber, was arraigned before District Judge Guy Haberl and jailed in the Indiana County Jail in lieu of posting $100,000 bail, online court records show.

He faces a preliminary hearing May 22.

“We are working to see how far up the distribution chain we can get,” said District Attorney Pat Dougherty.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE and The Associated Press contributed to this report.