New Castle News

November 3, 2012

Local man busted in drug raid

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A Wampum man suspected of selling heroin has been arrested in a drug raid.

Russell Robert Barr, 25, of 451 Eliza St., is charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He was arraigned by District Judge Melissa Amodie and is in the Lawrence County jail on $50,000 bond.

According to court documents, Barr was targeted by an undercover narcotics operation spearheaded by the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force. A “controlled buy” was made about 7 p.m. Wednesday, when 10 bags of suspected heroin were purchased.

Officers said Barr fled as they confronted him in the parking lot of a Wayne Township business. He was apprehended after a short chase.

Task force officials said a bundle of suspected heroin was found in the parking lot where Barr fell when he was being pursued.

Based upon the suspected heroin found at the scene and previous surveillance of Barr's residence, a search warrant was obtained and various suspected drug-related contraband and "used" suspected heroin bags were found in the residence, according to court documents.

The task force was assisted by Ellwood City police, New Castle narcotics officers and the Pennsylvania state police.

Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa noted that three new detectives in his office “are already paying dividends, despite being on the job for less than one month.”

The increased manpower, he said, has resulted in operations in population centers including New Castle and Ellwood City while continuing to police smaller communities.