The opioid epidemic strikes in Pennsylvania again as a Harrisburg convenience store distributed drugs to people in the area.
The Five Star Mini Mart is located in Allison Hill in Harrisburg. After leads regarding the store’s involvement in heroin and cocaine dealing, it has been a suspected drug trafficking center for many months now. Finally, the store was shut down by Pennsylvania State Police in early August when suspicions were confirmed.
Jose Mendoza, owner of the Five Star Mini Mart, was arrested for possession of drugs as well as intent to distribute heroin. His Harrisburg shop, it was discovered, contained 15,000 unused glassine bags. These small bags are often used to package heroin for further distribution and are one of many common signs of heroin abuse. Although his store was found to have only traces of drug distribution, his apartment was much more telling. At his Eagle Crest Apartment Complex residence, police found 100 grams of heroin and fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that has been rising in popularity in more recent years.
The police suspect the Mendoza was not alone in this sketchy business venture. Christopher Torres, Mendoza’s business partner at the Five Star Mini Mart, is suspected of involvement in business’s side hustle from the start. Torres also has a history of illegal drug distribution. In 2017, the Pennsylvania man was arrested during a drug bust. He was an active member of a heroin mill operation and was also in possession of three stolen handguns.
Fentanyl & Heroin in Pennsylvania
If a Harrisburg convenience store distributed drugs for many months without the knowledge of many people in the area, who is to say this isn’t happening in other parts of the states. As a Pennsylvania heroin treatment center, we know that is an unfortunate reality and that this same type of side business could be happening right in our backyard.
The numbers only make the plausibility of this idea even more likely. The greater availability and abuse of fentanyl in Pennsylvania has led to a 65% overall increase in drug-related overdose deaths in the state from 2015 to 2017 alone.1 With places like the local convenience store selling fentanyl, it is no wonder more people have started abusing this drug. Heroin also has an alarming hold on the Keystone State. Pennsylvania was the state with the second highest number of heroin exhibits reported to NFLIS in 2017, just second to Ohio.1 Unfortunately, it appears that fentanyl and heroin will remain prevalent in the state for many years to come.
If you or someone you care about is addicted to heroin, fentanyl, or another type of drug, try to get help immediately. Our drug rehab in PA works with people who are struggling with various types of substance abuse to help them regain control of their lives. Reach out to us at 570-536-9621 to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one.