New Castle News

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October 11, 2013

Police refile charges in Union drug case

NEW CASTLE — Charges have been refiled against four people arrested in a spring drug raid in Union Township.

Police said a 4-year-old girl was in the house at 27 Spring St. when they served a sealed search warrant there May 22 and officers turned up a loaded .38-caliber handgun.

Arrested were Ronald E. Clark II, 41, of 3016 McClelland Ave.; Ashley Ostrawski, 25, of Natrona Heights; Kijhana Daniel Cummings, 38, of Sharon; and Michael Scott Cottrill, 25 of 208 E. Madison Ave. Police said all four had been in the house at the time of the raid.

Charges were filed at the time of the arrests, but District Judge David B. Rishel dismissed them all at their preliminary hearing July 16.

He ruled the commonwealth had failed to produce for the defense an affidavit of probable cause for the sealed search warrant, which is required under the state rules of criminal procedure.

On Tuesday, New Castle and Union Township police and the Lawrence County district attorney’s office filed the new charges.

Members of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and special investigative team said they had confiscated six stamp bags of heroin, two small bags of marijuana, 34.2 grams of suspected powdered cocaine packaged in individual bags, a vial of steroids and $1,050 during the May 22 search.

At the time, police said, the house was a health and safety concern and was permeated with a pungent odor of dog and cat feces and urine that were on the floors throughout the house.

Multiple bags of rotting garbage were found in the kitchen and on the porches and they created such a bad odor that officers wore masks and used a masking agent and had to repeatedly go outside for fresh air, according to court documents.

The child was turned over to Lawrence County Children and Youth Services.

Four dogs also were removed from the property.

Clark, Cottrill, Cummings and Ostrawski each face charges of possession and criminal conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver, endangering the welfare of children, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Clark also is charged with a second count of possession with intent to deliver, and two additional charges of possession, as well as illegal possession of a firearm.

The four are at large and wanted by police.

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