PITTSBURGH - Federal prosecutors and the FBI say they've charged 44 people in a suburban Pittsburgh heroin ring that brazenly sold drugs while wearing t-shirts with the slogan, "Bricks R Us."
In drug parlance, a brick is a group of 10 stamp -- or individual dose -- bags of heroin.
“They were recognizable by the slogan they displayed on their T-shirts,” U.S. Attorney David Hickton said.
Hickton and the FBI said the group was supplied out of Newark, New Jersey, and sold their drugs in Pittsburgh but, mostly, in several of its south and east suburbs.
“The prosecution of this gun-toting, gun-trafficking conspiracy will disrupt a major heroin pipeline from Newark to our area,” a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Many of those regions are crime-ridden, but many of the deals occurred openly in Monroeville, a middle-class community about 15 miles east of the city known for a major mall and a diverse shopping and restaurant district known as the Miracle Mile.
“It’s kind of surprising because that’s not something you’d expect to see around (Monroeville,” Dennis Swogger Jr. said.
Patrick Fallon, an assistant FBI special agent, said the arrests resulted from a long-term investigation by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Gang Task Force.
The feds said several of the suspects remain at-large.
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