Heroin Happy Meals: Police Arrest McDonald's Worker for Selling Drug

Image: Heroin Happy Meals: Police Arrest McDonald's Worker for Selling Drug Shantia Marie Dennis

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 08:40 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A McDonald's employee in Pittsburgh was charged Wednesday with selling heroin out of Happy Meal boxes after authorities made an undercover purchase from the employee at the fast food establishment.

The Post-Gazette reported that the arrest of Shantia Marie Dennis, 26, at the McDonald's in Pittsburgh East Liberty neighborhood was the second heroin bust at a Pittsburgh-area McDonald's this month. 

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In the latest arrest, a narcotics enforcement team from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office was informed that the drug was being sold out of the McDonald's location.

"The way that the deals would happen is that the customer looking for heroin was instructed to go through the drive-thru and say, 'I'd like to order a toy,' " District Attorney Office Spokesman Mike Manko said. "The customer would then be told to proceed to the first window where they would be handed a Happy Meal box containing heroin."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that authorities said Dennis would hand her customers a Happy Meal box containing 10 stamp bags of heroin.

Dennis is awaiting arraignment in the Allegheny County Jail on possession of an illegal substance, possession with intent to deliver and delivery charges. 

On Jan. 14, police arrested Theodore Levon Upshaw, 28, after receiving a tip he was selling heroin out of the McDonald's in Murrysville, Pa., just east of Pittsburgh.

The Associated Press noted that authorities do not believe the heroin recovered in the latest arrest was connected to the fentanyl-laced heroin linked to 22 overdose deaths in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Allegheny County Chief Medical Examiner Karl Williams told CNN Tuesday that he has seen 15 overdose victims who took a mix of heroin and fentanyl, which is a narcotic used to treat cancer patients. 

"This is pretty clearly somebody manufacturing fentanyl and selling it as heroin," Williams said.

"We are working with the Allegheny County Police Department, the Pittsburgh Police, and their counterparts in the region to get this deadly mix of heroin off the streets of Western Pennsylvania, and to arrest and prosecute anyone caught selling, distributing, and producing these drugs," Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a statement.

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