New Castle News

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October 10, 2013

Police arrest eight in drug roundup

NEW CASTLE — Eight people were arrested in southern Lawrence County Wednesday on drug charges.

The charges stem from alleged drug deals that involved confidential informants and undercover officers dating back as much as a year, according to court records.

Dubbing the detail “Operation Bullpen,” officers of the district attorney’s special investigation unit, Ellwood City, Wampum and Neshannock police departments and the Lawrence County sheriff’s office rounded up the suspects with warrants.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of a ninth suspect identified Wednesday, according to District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

The roundup took place in Ellwood City and Ellport boroughs and southern Shenango Township, he said, adding police seized a car in the process.

Among those arrested was an Ellwood City man who allegedly sold methamphetamine and LSD to a confidential informant.

According to court records, Daniel Jay Mesko, 41, of 424 Franklin Ave. was charged in connection with selling LSD and 4.7 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in New Castle on July 3. Mesko faces two counts each of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was arraigned by District Judge Jennifer L. Nicholson and jailed on $25,000 bond.

“That was the first time we’d seen LSD in a long time,” Lamancusa said.

Most of the other arrests involved heroin, he said, adding the suspects are alleged low- to mid-level drug users and dealers.

The others arrested, their alleged offenses, charges and bonds are:

•Timothy Douglas Jackson Sr., 47, of 210 Franklin Ave., Ellwood City, for allegedly selling an informant five blue stamp bags of suspected heroin weighing a total of 1 gram in Ellwood City on July 17. He is charged with delivery of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright set his bond at $25,000.

•Alexander Scott Hohbach, 25, of Koppel is charged with possession with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance. Police said Hohbach had 5 ounces of marijuana during a visit to his home June 1 while he was on house arrest. He allegedly told police he was selling narcotics for an individual in West Virginia. He was arrested for violating house arrest. Police also confiscated 16 foil wrappers containing 0.65 grams of heroin, a digital scale and a glass pipe. He is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver and possession. Cartwright set his bond at $25,000.

•Randy Eugene Klink Sr., 51, of 59 Portersville Road, Ellwood City. He allegedly sold a bag of crack cocaine to a confidential informant on Oct. 16 in Ellwood City. He is charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond, set by Cartwright, is $25,000.

•Chad Mesko, 25, of 424 Franklin Ave., Ellwood City, allegedly sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant on July 17 in Ellwood City. He is charged with conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility. Cartwright set his bond at $25,000.

•Kendall H. Coppess, 41 of 2230 Brighton Road, Ellwood City, is charged with conspiracy to commit possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned by District Judge Melissa A. Amodie and released on nonmonetary bond.

•Carissa Anne Hohbach of 609 JFK St., Wampum, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. She allegedly was found with two hypodermic needles during surveillance in an Ellwood City restaurant parking lot March 26. Amodie released her on nonmonetary bond.

•Daniel Lewis Marich, 59, of 1036 N. Main St., Wampum. He was stopped by police in Wampum on Feb. 8 and officers learned he had a gun and apparently was under the influence, police said. They confiscated a prescription bottle of suspected roxycodone pills. He is charged with possession, misbranded controlled substance, and prohibited acts. Cartwright released him on his own recognizance.

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