Man previously accused of bringing drugs into Pittsburgh on Greyhound bus arrested in New York

A man who police say transported drugs into Pittsburgh on a Greyhound bus has been arrested in New York City, officials tell Channel 11.

Yan Carlos Pichardo Cepeda, 27, who failed to appear in an Allegheny County court twice, was arrested in September for allegedly bringing cocaine and what police thought was enough fentanyl to kill 35% of Pennsylvanians.

Pichardo Cepeda was released on nonmonetary bail after his arrest. He then failed to appear for two scheduled court dates.

But 11 Investigates learned that the fentanyl turned out to be a cutting agent, like baking soda.

While the case no longer involves fentanyl, there’s still the 1.1 kilograms of cocaine authorities say Cepeda had on him as well.

On Wednesday, Channel 11′s Chief Investigative Reporter Rick Earle discovered what officers found with Pichardo Cepeda was stamped as fentanyl and looked like fentanyl, but lab tests revealed it was only a cutting agent like baking soda, the Attorney General’s Office said.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday morning that Pichardo Cepeda is in custody in New York City after being picked up during a routine traffic stop. Authorities in New York plan to prosecute him on an outstanding sex assault charge before releasing him to Pennsylvania, the sheriff said.

“I can tell you in my role as sheriff, as well and a member of the commmunity, I think it’s highly irresponsible to not secure somebody’s appearance, especially if they’re a danger to the community, which clearly he demonstrated that he is,” Sheriff Kraus said.

Sheriff Kraus says the manhunt and the $25,000 of taxpayer money should have been avoided.

Channel 11 tried to reach Judge Orenstein several times today — in person, by phone, and on social media.

A clerk at the office told Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca, that the judge does not speak with journalists, nor do they comment on pending cases. Though, we know from the campaign for district justice, that Orenstein has been outspoken against cash bonds.

The Sheriff worries another Cepeda situation could happen again.

“Certainly there’s concern. If you let known offenders out, there’s a concern they may repeat an offense and somebody could get hurt.”

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