A Harrisburg man is free on $1 million bail and has been ordered to stand trial on felony drug charges after a preliminary hearing Thursday in Phoenixville.
Prosecutors said Jose Morales-Morell, 31, of Harrisburg, was driving a 2005 BMW sedan carrying 93 "bricks" of heroin. Each "brick" contains 110-120 individual packets of the drug, according to court testimony. A state police expert on heroin testified the substance discovered in the car would have a street value of $150,000-$200,000 if the substance is proven to be heroin by the state police crime lab.
The value of heroin ranges from $3 per individual baggie in Philadelphia to as much as $15 per "stamp" in more remote parts of the state like Williamsport, the expert testified.
Prosecutors said the drugs were hidden in the trunk and headlight area of the BMW. Morales-Morell and two passengers were stopped for a speeding violation on the westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike on Dec. 17, 2012. According to an affidavit of probable cause, a drug sniffing dog brought in when the defendant refused to let police search the car detected heroin.
Details of Arrest as First Reported on Phoenixville Patch
Following a preliminary hearing Thursday that lasted more than an hour, Magesterial District Judge Theodore Michaels ruled that prosecutors has presented sufficient evidence to bind the case over for trial.
One criminal conspiracy charge against Morales-Morell was dropped. Defense attorney Michael Engle said his client looks forward to having his day in court. Morales-Morell is free on $1 million bond, which had been set by a different court in another criminal case again Morales-Morrell.