Drug Cases Against Two Clarion Residents in Westmoreland County Move Forward

| June 9, 2017

hartzell-fiscus-mugsWESTMORELAND CO., Pa. (EYT) – Charges against two Clarion residents who were a part of a drug sting in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties in April have been held for court.

Alexis S. Fiscus, 20, and Robert L. Hartzell, 36, both of Clarion, were among the nearly three dozen arrested in the Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s ongoing drug investigations.

According to court documents, Fiscus faces the following charges:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony

Bail was set at $75,000.00 monetary bail.

A plea court hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on July 25 in front of Judge Rita D. Hathaway.

Court documents indicate that Fiscus remains in jail awaiting her hearing.

Fiscus also has pending charges against her in Clarion and Jefferson counties for writing bad checks and theft by deception.

Court documents indicate that a formal arraignment is scheduled for Hartzell in front of Judge Hathaway in Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas.

He faces the following charges:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)
– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)
– Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor (two counts)
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

He remains jailed after failing to post $75,000.00 bail.

Hartzell has been convicted of offenses in three counties – Clarion, Venango, and Mercer – which include writing bad checks, drug possession, and drug distribution/manufacturing.

The attorney general announced the charges after agents with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation coordinated with police from 18 local departments in a series of operations to round up and charge the drug-dealing suspects.

“Our coordination with local law enforcement was critical to our success in charging 33 people with dealing heroin and other drugs in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties,” Attorney General Shapiro said at a news conference in Pittsburgh. “I’ve said all along we’ll be merciless with the people peddling this poison in our communities.”

In one of the coordinated operations, Attorney General agents and local police charged 22 people with various drug offenses in and around Sharpsburg Borough in Allegheny County.

In another, unrelated operation, OAG agents and local police charged an additional 11 people with drug dealing in communities in and around New Kensington and other towns in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

In most of the cases the suspects are charged with dealing heroin. Some also face charge of selling crack cocaine.

Attorney General agents and local police also executed drug-related search warrants at residences in New Kensington and Pittsburgh.

Apart from these charges, the Office of Attorney General has made 317 drug-related arrests so far this year across Pennsylvania. The large majority of those arrests were for drug dealing and many of those charged were for heroin.

Agents are working closely with local, state, and federal authorities throughout the Commonwealth.

“Our collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement is making an impact as we  take on the heroin  and opioid epidemic across the Commonwealth,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “We have a lot more work to do, but cooperation with other agencies is helping us do our core job better – focusing on the public safety of all Pennsylvanians.”

The joint efforts are part of a multi-pronged approach instituted by Attorney General Shapiro since he took office in January to target drug dealing wherever it takes place – on street corners, in doctors’ offices or even in corporate board rooms.

Attorney General’s agents have arrested six doctors and 17 nurses this year for drug offenses, including illegally dispensing prescription drugs and in a recent case in Westmoreland County, with drug delivery resulting in death.

“Whether you’re selling heroin on a street corner or illegally dispensing opioids and prescription drugs from doctors’ offices, we’re going to investigate and arrest you and do whatever it takes to get this poison out of our communities,” Shapiro said.

Below is additional information on the investigations that led to the charges:

Investigations in Sharpsburg area 

22 people were charged in Allegheny County following investigations conducted by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Sharpsburg, O’Hara and Reserve police.

The investigations, which began in October 2016, primarily focused on individuals distributing heroin and crack cocaine. The suspects are street- to mid-level dealers.

The investigations consisted of approximately 36 controlled-purchases of drugs by law enforcement agents and others. More arrests are anticipated as the investigations continue.

Assisting the Attorney General’s office in the arrests were police officers from Sharpsburg Borough, Reserve Township, O’Hara Township, South Strabane Township, Ross Township, Stowe Township and McKees Rocks Borough. Allegheny County police SWAT, and Allegheny County Probation participated as well.

Investigations in New Kensington and other areas of Allegheny County

An additional 11 people were charged in Westmoreland County and Allegheny County with similar drug offenses following investigations by the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and local police.

Local departments involved in these investigations include: Clairton, Castle Shannon, North Versailles, Brentwood, Wilkinsburg, West Mifflin New Kensington, Harrison Township, Plum Borough, and Penn Hills.

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