Sewer Worker Charged With Selling Heroin From City Truck

A Pittsburgh Water and Sewer employee arrested again on drug charges

A Pittsburgh Water and Sewer employee was charged with drug offenses for the second time this year after he was arrested last week for attempting to sell heroin to an undercover police officer from the utility’s work truck.

Luke Barnes, 23, allegedly tried to sell $130 worth of heroin to the undercover officer. He and another suspect, Ronald Anthony Carson Jr., were charged with intent to deliver, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communications facility, among other drug charges.

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Carson, Jr., had instructed the undercover officer to meet with “his boy in the white work truck.” Barnes met with the officer and sold him 17 stamp bags of heroin; another 11 stamp bags were found inside the truck following a search.

Barnes has since been fired by the city, and PWSA is conducting an internal investigation. Mayor Bill Peduto said city typically would not fire an employee with a drug problem if he or she successfully completes drug rehabilitation.

“We want to be able to treat the problem, get people back into the process and be able to help them,” Peduto told the newspaper. “An incident like this, though, involves the sale of heroin, which obviously is a criminal act, so there wouldn’t be any opportunity for coming back into a position.”

PWSA has mandatory pre-employment and annual drug testing for all employees and does testing for cause under authority policy and union contracts, according to spokeswoman Melissa Rubin.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


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