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Authorities seize more than 1,500 bricks of heroin in Mt. Washington

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James Perrin, 35, whose address is unknown, is charged with conspiring to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin,

Law enforcement officers seized about 1,500 bricks of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash and jewelry, Cuban cigars, and a live chicken in a drug bust in Mt. Washington on Sunday, the attorney general's office said.

Agents charged James Perrin, 35, address unknown, and Price Montgomery, 33, of Mt. Washington with drug possession with intent to deliver, corrupt organization, illegally possessing a firearm and other crimes. The agency described the pair as “upper-level heroin dealers” and said additional charges will be forthcoming.

“They are not street-level (dealers),” spokeswoman Carolyn Myers said. “They would be supplying street level.”

Based on an estimated street value in Pittsburgh of $7 to $10 a stamp bag, the heroin is worth $525,000 to $750,000, Myers said.

Agents stopped Montgomery and Perrin when they left Montgomery's home on William Street in a blue Audi sports utility vehicle at about 1:30 p.m. According to a criminal complaint, authorities found a gold backpack with 125 bricks of heroin in the SUV and obtained a search warrant to check the home. A brick is 50 stamp bags.

Inside, they found about 1,500 bricks of heroin, equivalent to 75,000 stamp bags; 16 firearms, including four assault rifles; ammunition; money; and drug packaging material, according to the complaint.

Agents seized more than $100,000 in cash and jewelry, two luxury vehicles, the Cuban cigars and chicken, the release said. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security website says importing Cuban cigars is illegal. Pittsburgh Animal Control took the chicken. Pittsburgh residents need special permission to keep chickens, according to municipal code.

Port Vue police arrested Perrin in March and charged him with possession with intent to deliver, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and driving on a suspended or revoked license. Police said they found 90 packets of heroin on him then and 1,250 packets hidden under a pine tree about eight houses from where Perrin was parked on Romine Avenue.

He was sleeping in an SUV and fled from police when they roused him to search him, police said.

Perrin, who was out of jail on a $50,000 bond, has a formal arraignment on those charges scheduled on June 24.

Online property assessment records list the owner of the William Street house as Deshea Townsend, a former Steelers cornerback who works as an assistant coach at Mississippi State University.

Townsend is not charged or named in the complaint. He purchased the home in 2006, records show.

Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

Reach her at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].

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