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Drug-Related Arrests and Homicides

Analysis of drug arrests by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for 2015 (through November) revealed a total of 1,525 arrests, to include:

  • 312 arrests for sale/manufacturing of cocaine/opium;
  • 426 arrests for cocaine/opium possession;
  • 11 arrests for synthetic drug sale/manufacturing; and
  • 59 arrests for synthetic drug possession.

In 2015, there were 108 homicides in Pittsburgh, rising from 101 in 2014. In addition, 25 percent of 2014 homicides were categorized as drug-related.

A review of Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) 2015 arrest data for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area1 identified 1,556 and 106 arrests for the sale/manufacturing of cocaine/opium and synthetic drugs, respectively.

In addition, PSP reported 2,227 arrests for cocaine/opium possession and 347 arrests for synthetic drug possession.

Seven2 of the 21 domestic Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Field Divisions (FDs) ranked heroin as their number one drug threat in 2014. Another six3 FDs ranked heroin as the second greatest threat to their areas. This was an increase over 2013. DEA heroin arrests nearly doubled between 2007 and 2014, and in 2014 heroin arrests surpassed marijuana arrests for the first time. (See Chart 1)

1. The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area is comprised of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.

2. (U) The Chicago, Detroit, New England, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington Field Divisions.

3. (U) The Atlanta, Caribbean, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, and St. Louis Field Divisions.