by: Chuck Biedka, TribLIVE Updated:PITTSBURGH —
A former Harwick man scheduled for trial next month for allegedly selling heroin in Harrison last year is now wanted on suspicion of having 2,500 packets of heroin and two stolen pistols in Tarentum.
Police and state Attorney General's office agents on Tuesday continued to search for Jose Antonio Molina, also known as Jose Antonio Molina-Delgado.
On Friday, Tarentum and Harrison police, acting for the state Attorney General's drug task force, reported finding heroin and a 9 mm pistol inside hidden compartments in a car parked at 217 W. Seventh Ave., Tarentum.
“Some of the heroin was sold out of the house, but we believe Molina gave most to other people to sell for him,” Tarentum police Sgt. Mark Glogowski said Tuesday.
Police said the two-door, 2002 Monte Carlo is registered to a drug addict who told police he gave it to Molina to drive in exchange for some heroin.
In addition to the large number of heroin packets found in the car, police said they found about 180 in the house.
Glogowski called the 32-year-old Molina “at least a mid-level drug dealer.”
Molina faces numerous drug possession and sales charges as well as illegal gun possession charges. Police say he will likely also be charged with running a corrupt organization.
Police believe Molina is still in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
“He doesn't want to give up drug sales in the Valley,” Glogowski said. “He keeps coming back.”
If sold for $10 a packet, the heroin would have a street value of about $25,000.
Police found most of the heroin in 10 “sleeves” of the drug. A sleeve holds 250 packets. Each packet bore the name “Pappy” and was doubled-bagged and then wrapped up into sleeves.
The heroin is thought to have been shipped in from Philadelphia and New Jersey, according to police.On Friday, police also found a 9 mm Romanian-made Makarov pistol and a .38-caliber Taurus revolver stolen from Hopewell Township in 2012.
Glogowski said the car had several secret, electrically-controlled compartments that held the Makarov and heroin.
To open the hidden compartments, a magnet is first placed under the brake pedal. The ignition is then turned on and a small magnet is placed under the fog light switch, police said.
But the concealed compartments didn't deter from Lower Burrell's police dog from sniffing out the heroin, both in the car and house.
Molina is scheduled to have a non-jury trial on March 20 in Pittsburgh for having more than 800 packets of heroin in Brackenridge last May.
Molina and a codefendant were staying at 756 McKinley Ave., in the Harwick section of Springdale Township, at the time.
Molina recently lived at Franklin Road, Pittsburgh in 2012 but, before that, had lived a number of years in Harwick.
On Nov. 2, 2007, he started to serve a state prison sentence of three to six years for aggravated assault with serious bodily injury and burglary in another Allegheny County case. He was sent to the Alle-Kiski Pavilion halfway house in Arnold in March 2010 and was paroled from there about 13 months ago.
On April 12, 2012, Molina was sent back to state prison for a parole violation. He was again paroled to the halfway house last March 18.
State records show that in 2005 he was sentenced to six months of probation for selling drugs in New Kensington.
(Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 email@example.com.)