All over the country, heroin is turning millions of people, of all backgrounds, into addicts. On the other side of the spectrum, the epidemic has made many dope dealers rich. One of the latter, allegedly, is Curtis M. Harper, of Pittsburgh. However, 33 people, including Harper, have been taken into custody across six Western Pennsylvania counties for operating a massive heroin ring. They all face charges in a grand jury investigation.
According to reports, Harper, allegedly, oversaw an organization that distributed 9,100 bricks of heroin (valued at $2.7 million) over a period of 13 months. The organization is said to have sold 25 bricks every day, mostly in the Cambria County area of Johnstown. According to reports:
A brick contains 50 bags of heroin, and investigators said by charging $200 to $300 per brick, Harper earned between $150,000 and $225,000 per month.
Harper faces one count each of criminal conspiracy, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations, receiving stolen property and persons not to possess a firearm, as well as 49 counts of delivery of heroin.
The organization was taken down by “Operation Smack Down,” a joint effort executed by “the attorney general’s bureau of narcotics, the FBI, members of the Cambria County Drug Task Force and several local police departments.”
Harper was released after posting a $100,000 cash bond.