Philadelphia Man Faces Drug Charges After Allegedly Trying to Sell Large Amount of Heroin to Police

A Philadelphia man is facing drug charges after he allegedly tried to sell an undercover officer a large amount of heroin.

Nasir M. Lawrence, 23, allegedly tried to sell fifty bags of heroin to a Lycoming County Narcotics Unit officer. The alleged attempted drug deal took place at Third Place and Park Avenue on Thursday, June 9th. You can read Lawrence’s court report below:

Court ReportCOURT REPORT- Nasir M. Lawrence, 23, of Philadelphia, faces 3 felony charges and 3 misdemeanor charges.  The charges listed are….
35 § 780-113 §§ A30 F Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver
35 § 780-113 §§ A30 F Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver
18 § 7512 §§ A F3 Criminal Use Of Communication Facility

35 § 780-113 §§ A16 M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg
35 § 780-113 §§ A32 M Use/Poss Of Drug Paraph
35 § 780-113 §§ A16 M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg 06/09/2016

Magisterial District Judge Christian David Frey on June 9th, 2016 presided over the preliminary arraignment for Lawrence. Lawrence was arraigned at the Magisterial District Court 29-1-01. Lawrence was assigned bail in the amount of $250,000. Lawrence was unable to meet bail and was remanded to the Lycoming County Prison pending the next hearing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 14th, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., also in front of Magisterial District Judge Christian David Frey.

Keifer J. Bathgate of the Lycoming County Detectives is listed as the arresting officer for Lawrence. The charges relate to an alleged incident that happened on June 9th, 2016.

Please remember all individuals are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
All of the information contained is based on Lycoming County PA Court Records.
View the full court record here.

Nasir M Lawrence 6 9 16

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Ten Caught Allegedly Trying to Buy Heroin After Police Use Alleged Heroin Dealers’ Cellphone

Ten people were arrested for allegedly trying to purchase heroin after Pennsylvania State Police officers used the cellphone of two alleged drug dealers that had been dropped during a high speed chase on Sunday, May 29th.

According to a report, the chase began at approximately 9:45 a.m. in Loyalsock Township. The police noticed a man fitting the description of an alleged drug dealer who was wanted by the Pennsylvania State Police Vice/Narcotics Unit. The trooper was parked in the Uni-Mart parking lot at 1810 Northway Road. 29-year-old Julian L. Ruffin of Philadelphia was in the passenger seat and 30-year-old Shakoor Johnson, also of Philadelphia, was driving the Chrysler 200 that was black in color. Ruffin was the man wanted by police. According to police, the car drove to East Third Street while the trooper followed it. The car quickly turned onto Reed Street after the men became aware that police were following them. Johnson began driving at speeds that were considered to be unsafe. Then, the vehicle pulled into a private property and struck a utility pole. According to police, Johnson drove onto a playground at the former Becht School located on Clayton Avenue. The vehicle became disabled, and a foot chase ensued. Johnson was apprehended in the back yard of 1949 Sheridan Street. Police had to use a taser in order to subdue Johnson. Ruffin was caught several minutes later after police found him walking in a north direction on Norhway Road.

According to reports, Ruffin allegedly had a bag in his possession when he began running. The bag was not on Ruffin’s person when he was apprehended. A resident who lives on Sheridan Street’s 1900 block told the Pennsylvania State Police in Montoursville that he heard the ringing of a cellphone in the backyard. In addition, he found Chrysler car keys. According to police, both Ruffin and Johnson denied owning the cellphone.

According to police, there were numerous calls and texts coming to the cellphone when they started using it to tell people intending to buy heroin to go to the Lycoming Mall. Ten people allegedly met troopers at the mall. According to police, all ten people were arrested. Three of the people that were arrested told police that Ruffin and Johnson had allegedly delivered heroin to them. According to an affidavit, another person admitted that he spent $80 on seven bags of heroin that he allegedly purchased from Ruffin and Johnson. Ruffin and Johnson were allegedly in the same black Chrysler police chased on May 29th.  Ruffin is currently in jail. His bail is set at $250,000. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Wolf Wants $34 Million to Build Outpatient Treatment Centers for Opioid Addiction

Governor Tom WolfPennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) addressed the press at the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine as he discussed the topic of opioid abuse in the Commonwealth while in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 2nd.

Wolf is requesting a $34 million budget that would be used to focus on opioid abuse in Pennsylvania. In addition, $16 million from Medicaid would be used to combat opioid addiction. Wolf would like to see 50 outpatient treatment centers built in Pennsylvania. These centers would serve as many as 11,000 people annually. He acknowledged that the budget would only be “a start” to addressing the heroin addiction problem and that  “we in Harrisburg are just waking up to the problem.” He also said, “This is something we really need to address in a much more comprehensive way… That’s a placeholder.”

Wolf asked the following two questions, “The question is why do we have this crisis of opioid addiction?… And second, what are we going to do about it?” In regards to treatment centers being built, Wolf said the exact help that heroin addicts need is still being determined. Wolf explained, “One of the things we have to do is find out what that need is… We need to get a better answer to the question. The problem is all over the state.”

The Legislature, which is currently controlled by the GOP, must pass a budget before July 1st when the 2016-2017 fiscal year begins. Wolf said that he believes people are wanting to address the heroin addiction problem regardless of their political party. He said, “This is something that cuts across party lines, class lines, geographical lines in Pennsylvania… I think there is real interest in doing something about this.”

Pennsylvania is currently number one for overdose deaths in the United States. According to Wolf’s office, at least seven Pennsylvanians die per day due to heroin overdoses. According to Wolf, he is especially focusing on drug addiction. Wolf hosted two opioid roundtable discussions in southeast Pennsylvania during the week of Monday, May 16th. The roundtable discussions were hosted in Bensalem and Brookhaven. The discussions were part of a tour across Pennsylvania where law enforcement, emergency responders, local officials, health care professionals, and state lawmakers talked about combining efforts in order to fight the problem of opioid addiction in Pennsylvania. Wolf issued the following statement after the roundtable discussions, “I look forward to continue working collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic… The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is shocking: at least seven Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. With nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher, a collaborative effort on the federal, state, and local levels is crucial in combating this crisis.”