A 26-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday after police said undercover agents purchased heroin from the woman while she was working at a Pittsburgh-area McDonald’s.
According to Mike Manko, a spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, authorities received information that heroin was being sold by an employee at the East Liberty McDonald’s restaurant.
Manko said several law enforcement officers set up a controlled buy at the restaurant Wednesday.
Investigators said customers looking for heroin were told to go through the drive-through and say "I'd like to order a toy."
The customer would then be told to drive to the first window, where they'd hand over their money and get a Happy Meal box containing heroin in exchange.
The customer, who just paid $82, would then leave without stopping at the second window, according to Manko.
Once the controlled buy was executed, detectives arrested Shantia Dennis. After the arrest, 10 stamp bags of heroin were recovered inside the Happy Meal box and another 50 bags were recovered from Dennis, Manko said.
“No I was not,” Dennis said after being asked her if she was selling heroin at McDonald’s.
Manko said it’s unclear how long the process has been going on or how many transactions have taken place.
Investigators have no reason to believe the store's owner was aware of it, or of another employee charged with selling heroin near another restaurant.
"We have no indication the owner knew of this and neither suspect has, to this point, implicated the owner or anyone else at either restaurant," Manko said.
Police said it doesn’t appear that the heroin is related to the potentially lethal batches being sold in the area.
Dennis is the second McDonald's worker in two weeks to be arrested for allegedly selling heroin on the job.
Investigators say Dennis' alleged actions were even more dangerous because she was using a kid's meal to push the deadly product.
"It's possible that this could have been given to somebody else with a child in the car who was legitimately buying a Happy Meal, and it could have been very dangerous for a child to get this heroin," said Gregory Geppert of Swissvale police.