New Castle News

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April 11, 2014

Edinburg man faces drug, firearms charges

NEW CASTLE — An Edinburg man allegedly caught with drugs in his car earlier this month now faces firearm charges as well.

Shenango Township police have re-arrested Mark Anthony Ortiz, 28, of 2678 Benjamin Franklin Highway after they conducted a search of his car following an April 1 traffic stop.

Officers obtained a search warrant the next day, they said, and in searching his vehicle found a Beretta handgun with an obliterated serial number, a magazine loaded with seven rounds of .22-caliber hollowpoint ammunition and an additional 11 rounds of .22-caliber hollowpoint.

The April 1 traffic stop occurred when an officer pulled him over for an expired registration tag on his blue Cadillac Deville and noticed a clear plastic bag on the driver’s side floor, which tested positive for cocaine.

Police said Ortiz’s clothing was stuffed with a capped needle loaded with suspected heroin, a digital scale, empty stamp bags, clear plastic bags containing suspected heroin and cocaine, $220, a metal spoon, nine plastic syringe caps, 10 Q-tips, a red butane lighter, two empty syringes, a plastic syringe plunger and six pieces of lottery paper.

Ortiz was charged with drug offenses at the time. Police withdrew those charges and refiled them Thursday, adding firearms-related charges as a result of the search warrant.

He now faces one count each of possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a gun with an altered manufacturer’s number and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

He was taken into custody and arraigned Thursday morning by District Judge David B. Rishel, who set his bond at $5,000.

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