Pennsylvania man busted with $90K in raw fentanyl injured officer during arrest, authorities say

Cortez M. Haselrig, 25, is believed to be the son of late Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Carlton Haselrig

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A Pennsylvania man was busted with $90,000 worth of fentanyl in powder form after a months-long drug trafficking investigation concluded on Tuesday, authorities said. 

Cortez M. Haselrig, 25, was in possession of 50 grams of raw fentanyl when he was arrested at the Giant Eagle Parking Lot in Ligonier, the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Ligonier is a town located about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Haselrig resisted arrest and fought with police, injuring one officer, authorities added.

Haselrig’s father was former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Carlton Haselrig, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, citing police sources. The elder Haselrig died in 2020.

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Investigators searched Haselrig’s home and discovered 110 grams of raw fentanyl, cutting agents, mixers, a large amount of cash and a digital scale, the district attorney’s office said.

Cortez M. Haselrig, 25, was charged with drug possession, criminal use of a communication facility and resisting arrest.

Cortez M. Haselrig, 25, was charged with drug possession, criminal use of a communication facility and resisting arrest. (Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office )

Police said the drugs seized had a street value of $90,000, the paper reported.

Haselrig was booked into the Westmoreland County Prison on charges of drug possession, criminal use of a communication facility and resisting arrest. He was being held on $500,000 bail.

"I thank all of the law enforcement departments and officers involved in this investigation and arrest for their dedication and commitment to fight the war on drugs in our county and beyond," Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli said in a written statement. "This is of paramount importance to my office and the safety and security of our communities."

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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that "is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic," according to the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics estimates there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021, with 71,238 of those deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.