New Castle News

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April 25, 2013

Authorities raid suspected East Side drug house

NEW CASTLE — The house at 920 E. Washington St. was the subject of repeated complaints from neighbors, according to police.

The Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the District Attorney’s special investigative unit and the New Castle police raided the house yesterday morning, seizing drugs and arresting Mary Adaleine O’Brien, 48, the owner and occupant.

She was arraigned by District Judge Melissa A. Amodie, on two counts each of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and lodged in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.

New Castle Code enforcement workers boarded up the house yesterday after officers armed with a sealed search warrant completed their search.

Police chief Bobby Salem said the special response team entered the house around 6:30 a.m., finding O’Brien and two aggressive dogs in an upstairs bedroom.

The dogs, a bull mastiff and a pit bull terrier, were turned over to O’Brien’s family members by a county detective.

Among items seized by police were a plastic bag containing about 2.5 grams of suspected counterfeit crack cocaine, $360 in cash and five small plastic zipper bags containing a total of 0.8 grams of heroin. Police also found scales and other drug paraphernalia in an upstairs bedroom. Police said substances will be sent to the state police crime lab in Greensburg.

O’Brien told police the bedroom — where the suspected drugs and other items were found — was being rented to a woman for $50 a week and that the woman was distributing drugs from her house.

She also said the woman would give drugs to her son.

O’Brien also said the bag containing a chunky white substance in the kitchen was “fake crack,” and that her tenant was planning to sell it as crack cocaine to someone who did not show up.

Salem said additional charges could be pending against two other individuals who lived at the house.

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