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September 15, 2011

Brothers facing drug charges

NEW CASTLE — State police have charged three brothers in connection with a February drug raid.

The bust, conducted Feb. 16 at an East Elizabeth Street home, netted pills, heroin, marijuana and approximately $1,000 in counterfeit $20 bills.

Criminal complaints were filed Tuesday with District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright against James Robert Masterson, 21, Trevor Samuel Masterson, 20, and Jeffrey J. Masterson, 18. They face a total of 21 charges.

Troopers from the Butler post of the state police began the investigation Jan. 20. On that date, police said, an informant paid $410 to James Masterson for 10 oxycodone pills and a quarter-ounce of marijuana.

On Feb. 15, police said, an informant spent $3,000 to purchase less than a half-ounce of heroin and a pair of firearms, one of which was reported stolen.

Police filed 12 counts against him in those two incidents. They include possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and receiving stolen property.

The buys resulted in authorities obtaining a search warrant Feb. 16 to enter the East Elizabeth Street house.

Police inspected James Masterson’s room in the basement. They found counterfeit money in duct work, a closet and above a ceiling tile. A variety of pills and heroin also were recovered.

“He did not know how the items got there,” police reported.

He claimed he used to sell drugs to pay back debts to other dealers.

James Masterson told police he receives $770 a month in Social Security benefits but is paid under the table for work performed for a flooring company.

Police added charges of possession with intent to deliver, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and forgery after the raid.

Trevor Masterson reportedly had 8 ounces of marijuana. He was charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two are awaiting preliminary hearings.

Jeffrey Masterson was found with 0.2 ounces of marijuana and faces two misdemeanor drug charges.

He told police he kept the marijuana in his pillow case “because his brother James is always trying to steal things off of him.”

Jeffrey Masterson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 13.

(Email: plitowitz@ncnewsonline.com)

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