Suspected drug dealers plying their illegal trade at a Butler apartment tried to flush 170 stamp bags of heroin down the toilet during a weekend police raid, authorities said.
The attempt to get rid of the evidence failed.
Butler police working with the Butler County Drug Task Force seized the evidence and a lot more Saturday morning inside the ground-floor apartment at a home in the 800 block of East Jefferson Street.
“There were bags of heroin everywhere — the living room, bedroom, dining room, bath room,” said Butler Patrolman Anthony Fatta, lead investigator.
The investigation led to the arrest of the couple living at the apartment, as well as another man and two teenagers, all from Pittsburgh.
Investigators suspect all five were dealing drugs at the apartment.
Charged with felony possession and conspiracy are Mandy M. Gumm, 27, Miles A. Allen, 20, Ashton X. Lewis, 21, all of Pittsburgh, and two boys, ages 16 and 17.
Gumm and her boyfriend, Allen, and Lewis are in the Butler County Prison on $100,000 bail each. The youths were turned over to juvenile authorities.
“It was a good bust,” said Butler police Lt. Mike Dalcamo, who also heads the drug task force’s north team. “It went off without a hitch.
From Fatta’s investigation, authorities said, the task force obtained a search warrant for the apartment, where Gumm is the listed tenant and where Allen also lives.
Fourteen officers shortly before 8 a.m. converged on the two-story house converted into three apartments. The raid caught the suspects by surprise.
“They were running around like chickens,” Fatta said.
But before officers got into the first-floor apartment, they had to force in the door. That was followed by the detonation of a flash bang.
Dalcamo called the flash bang a “diversionary device” meant to stun the suspects and divert their attention from the officers.
In the apartment, officers found hundreds of stamp bags of suspected heroin — 386 in all.
The suspects were in such a haste to destroy the evidence that they tried to flush 17 bundles of heroin down the toilet. That proved too much.
There are 10 bags per bundle, Dalcamo noted.
The search also turned up more than $1,800 in currency.