AP NEWS

200,000 stamp bags of suspected heroin confiscated after turnpike stop

May 4, 2019

A Philadelphia woman was stopped with $2 million in suspected heroin on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset County.

Ana Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 32, Whitaker Avenue, was charged Wednesday with possession with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.

Rodriguez-Gonzalez was stopped at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday for following another vehicle too closely in Stonycreek Township, according to state police. She consented to a search of the vehicle, and police found a hidden compartment in the rear cargo area.

According to court documents, police found 200,000 stamp bags of suspected heroin with a street value of $2 million.

The bust is one of the larger ones in Somerset County.

“When I saw the pictures earlier, all I could think about is all of that out on the street,” District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said.

In 2002, turnpike state police stopped a Pittsburgh woman with 70,000 packets of heroin hidden inside a secret compartment in her van. The drugs were estimated to have a street value of more than $2 million, reflecting higher prices at the time.

Lazzari-Strasiser commended the state police for getting the drugs off the streets.

“Just one of those stamp bags could cause an overdose,” she said.

Rodriguez-Gonzalez is being held in the Somerset County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 15 before District Judge Susan Mankamyer in Boswell.