Burglary Investigation Nets Suspected Narcotics, Stolen Gun

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

McKeesport police investigating a suspected burglary in Highland Grove wound up arresting three people --- including a fugitive wanted in Maryland.

Officers recovered a stolen 9-mm semiautomatic pistol, more than $1,500 in suspected heroin and two bags of suspected crack cocaine following the incident Saturday morning.

One of the people arrested is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bond after city police allege that he pointed a firearm at officers.

Mark A. Bunting, 28, of McKeesport is charged by city police with burglary, unauthorized possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver, recklessly endangering other persons and resisting arrest.

He is awaiting a preliminary hearing Aug. 12 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

Police were dispatched just after 8 a.m. Saturday to a building on Highland Avenue when a caller reported that her apartment had been burglarized, and that she suspected her neighbor was the culprit.

The victim told police the only item missing was a package which she had agreed to hold for her neighbor, whom police identified as Bunting.

When officers went next door to question Bunting, police allege that he met them at the door holding a .380-caliber pistol, and refused to put it down.

According to a police report, officers drew their own firearms and forced Bunting to lie face-down on a sofa, but claim that Bunting continued to struggle and pointed the firearm at police.

Additional officers arrived and subdued Bunting, according to the report.

Bunting's girlfriend gave police consent to search the apartment, police said, at which time they discovered 310 stamp bags of suspected heroin and two bags of suspected crack cocaine in a container disguised as a beverage can.

Also discovered in the apartment was a 9-mm handgun reported stolen from Indiana County, police said.

Arrested in addition to Bunting was Joseph J. Stecula, 30, of McKeesport. He is charged by McKeesport police with possession of suspected heroin and is free on his own recognizance pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 23 before Riazzi.

Also arrested was Troy Robair Merry, 50, of Frederick, Md. McKeesport police said that Merry was wanted by Maryland State Police in connection with an outstanding warrant and that he was taken to Allegheny County Jail to await extradition to that state.

A list of the Maryland charges pending against Merry was not available to Tube City Almanac on Thursday night.

Originally published August 08, 2019.

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