A Pennsylvania man was arrested for selling drugs out of his hospital room.
A 37-year-old suspect was charged with selling heroin after police were alerted to suspicious activity a the Excela Westmoreland Hospital, the Greensburg Police Department said in a statement.
Jeffery Lakin, the accused, was receiving a large number of visitors, hospital staff and cops said, reported CBS Pittsburgh. Lakin was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed medical condition.
“Security observed a lot of people going out of [Lakin’s] room for a short period of time. People didn’t know the patient’s name just the room they were trying to get to,” Stafford said.
Security and staff said they felt something was amiss and called the cops, CBS reported.
“A subsequent investigation led to another male being stopped leaving the hospital after allegedly purchasing heroin from the accused,” the police department added. “A subsequent search of the subject’s hospital room revealed stamp bags of heroin, a large amount of cash and other items of drug paraphernalia.”
In the incident that led to Lakin’s arrest, police stopped a car in the hospital parking lot after the driver had visited him. Heroin was found in the car.
Officers then rushed to Lakin’s room and found him going through a bag. He later admitted that he attempted to flush the heroin down the toilet. Investigators said he wasn’t able to fully succeed, finding several bags along with more than $1,000 in cash.
Two women were arrested as part of the bust, WPXI-TV reported.
This isn’t the first time this happened at that same hospital. A patient in 2014 had been selling heroin out of her Westmoreland Hospital room.
“I mean always be vigilant and keep your eyes open, and if it’s something suspicious, call the police department and let us look into it. It might be nothing. It might turn into something more,” Stafford told WPXI.
The United States—namely the eastern U.S.—is currently in the midst of a severe heroin epidemic. Right now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 78 people die from heroin and painkiller overdoses every day in the country.
“Opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths in 2014 and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2000,” according to the CDC’s website, citing the most recent data. “Significant increases in drug overdose death rates were seen in the Northeast, Midwest and South Census Regions.”
West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Ohio saw a significant increase in drug overdose deaths.
And “states with statistically significant increases in the rate from 2013 to 2014 included Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” the agency adds.
In March, a lengthy report from PennLive said heroin has spread to essentially every corner of Pennsylvania, with overdoses increasing by 20 percent in 2014, the most recent data. “And based on preliminary reports to the Pennsylvania Coroner’s Association, the number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania likely increased again in 2015,” the report said.