A 36-year-old Central City man was arraigned Wednesday before Boswell District Judge Bill Seger on several drug charges. The arrest, according to acting District Attorney Molly Metzgar, amounted to “one of the largest drug busts in the history of Somerset County.”
Metzgar announced the felony charges against Central City resident Jordan Scott Rasbach during a media conference in the Somerset County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.
Rasbach has been charged with multiple illegal drug deliveries, mainly of methamphetamine and heroin. He is also charged with criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, firearms not to be carried without a license and criminal use of a communication facility.
Rasbach is accused of traveling to Philadelphia approximately every two weeks and returning to Somerset County with a “massive” amount of illegal drugs, repackaging them and selling them locally, Metzgar said.
The rationale behind obtaining the drugs in Philadelphia and bringing them to Somerset County to sell comes down to money, Deputy Attorney General David Gorman said.
Gorman, who shared the podium with Metzgar at the media event, said a bundle of heroin — 10 packages — would sell for between $20 and $30 in Philadelphia. That same bundle, however, would sell for between $100 and $150 in Somerset and Cambria counties.
An investigating grand jury recommended that Rasbach be charged with illegal drug dealing and related charges after reviewing and evaluating evidence presented to the statewide panel, according to the grand jury indictment.
On March 4, Judge Anthony Mariani, supervising judge of the grand jury, ordered “appropriate criminal charges be initiated and prosecuted by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Somerset County” against Rasbach.
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According to a grand jury report, Rasbach sold “large quantities of (methamphetamine) and heroin in Somerset and Cambria counties between July 2019 and October 2021.”
Rasbach was arrested by state attorney general agents Oct. 30 in Somerset County.
At the time of his arrest, investigators seized approximately two pounds of methamphetamine and 7,701 bags of heroin from the vehicle he was driving along Route 30 near Central City, as well as, a firearm with two loaded magazines and loose ammunition without a license to carry, Metzgar said. The approximate street value of the drugs was $175,000.
“Drug dealers of this magnitude are the reasons why parents of this county worry about the safety of their children,” she said, “and why I am proud to help take him off of the streets.”
“I’ve said it before and I will say it here again today: I will not tolerate drug dealers in Somerset County.”
Rasbach is in Somerset County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Seger. His next court appearance is for a preliminary hearing scheduled at 1 p.m. Wednesday before Seger.
The case involved a collaborative effort of investigators from the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office, Somerset County Drug Task Force, Bureau of Investigation for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Upper Merion Township Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department.
Follow Judy D.J. Ellich on Twitter at @dajudye.