State College police arrested a Philadelphia man Thursday after they say he sold cocaine to a criminal informant.
At the time Amir Donald Robinson, 22, was arrested, police say he was carrying a brown suitcase containing 577 bags of heroin and 22.9 grams of cocaine.
“I think 577 bags of heroin is significant for any community,” said Officer Kelly Aston in an interview Monday. “It’s particularly significant for State College. That’s a lot of heroin being distributed to folks living in our area. I think that’s a big win for us, getting that off the streets.”
Robinson is charged with nine felonies, including posession with intent to deliver cocaine and heroin and criminal use of a communications faciilty. Robinson was transported to the Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $175,000 bail.
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According to an affidavit, police found seven tied plastic bags containing suspected cocaine and 577 blue glassine bags containing heroin in Robinson’s possession.
Police say a majority of the bags were “wrapped in 14 bag bundles with a rubber band,” which they say is “ indicative to the sale of heroin.”
According to police, heroin was packaged in glassine bags and bundled for sale.
According to Aston, police first became aware of Robinson’s drug dealing in February.
“We had three controlled buys where we utilized an informant on three occasions. We also had information that he was dealing heroin in the area. Based on the information we had and the amount of substance he was bringing into the area, we decided that we would arrest him,” said Aston.
Police say Robinson traveled to State College from Philadelphia by bus, but he lives in the Philadelphia area.
“We have a lot of dealers coming in from other areas setting up and dealing drugs,” said Aston. “Robinson was one of those people, he did not live here and was bringing controlled substances to the State College area, distributing them and then going back and bringing more quantities that are more significant.”
Aston says that the Centre County Drug Task Force is useful in cases like this because police are able to communicate and utilize multiple resources from numerous agencies so it can take an investigation further than an individual agency.
Aston says that the heroin problem in Centre County is essentially mimicking what we see “statewide, countywide and nationally and that’s an increase in the amount of heroin arrests, the amount of heroin overdoses and the amount of heroin overdose deaths.”
Between 2014 and 2015 Centre County experienced a significant increase in incidents involving opioids.
Heroin use, overdoses and deaths are all on the rise in Centre County, authorities say.
“In Centre County, law enforcement has also seen an increase in heroin distribution. The Centre County Coroner’s Office confirmed that 34 fatal heroin overdoses occurred in 2014 and 2015. There were also 30 non-fatal overdoses that occurred in 2014 and 2015 where the users survived. It is estimated that 234 additional police incidents occurred where heroin and/or opiates were involved,” said Aston.
Court documents indicate Robinson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.