New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
A drug raid on Bell Avenue netted three arrests, drugs, cash and weapons.
Authorities also said there was evidence of an illegal dog fighting pit in the basement of the raided home.
Arrested as a result of the Monday night raid are Rayjzon Dacole Sams, 21, of 502 Bell Ave., where the raid occurred, Forrest Gilmore, 18, of 818 Hazel St.; and Delaughn Searcy, 18 of 461-14 Neshannock Ave.
All three are being held in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond each on assorted drug-related charges.
According to Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, authorities executed a “high-risk” warrant at Sams’ home around 9 p.m. Officials were concerned about the presence of guns in the house, Lamancusa said.
Also, Lamancusa said, Sams is a suspect in a shooting incident.
Members of the District Attorney’s Special Investigative Unit; the New Castle Police Special Response Team; representatives of the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and officers and dog from the Neshannock Township Police Department surrounded the home, Lamancusa said, and ordered the occupants out.
When they refused, criminal complaints filed against the three said, police fired rounds of foam batons into windows of the house. These are riot control devices designed to break apart and hit people without serious injury. After about three rounds were fired, the men left the house.
They were taken into custody and searched. Police said Sams had a bag of suspected marijuana and nearly $850. Searcy had suspected marijuana and crack cocaine.
In the house, police said, they found a .45-caliber handgun, a Glock 9 mm magazine, a bulletproof vest, two boxes of shotgun shells, a bag with suspected cocaine residue, suspected crack cocaine, suspected roxycodone tablets and other prescription medications.
During the course of the three-hour search, Lamancusa said, a suspected dog fighting pit was found in the basement of the home, with “lots of blood” visible.
In addition, Lamancusa said, several spent shell casings were found in the basement. He said dogs that are injured or lose fights are often killed. However, no dog carcasses were found in the home.
Each of the three defendants is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, conspiracy with intent to deliver, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of body armor.
Sams and Searcy also were charged with a second count of possession with intent to deliver, and Sams with a count of illegal possession of a firearm.
Preliminary hearings on the charges are scheduled for Dec. 27.