Houtzdale Man Gets State Prison for Carrying Firearm, Possessing Drugs

GAVEL 3

CLEARFIELD – A Houtzdale man will spend up to eight years in state prison for carrying a gun while on a hiking trail and for possessing a variety of drugs at a hotel.

Richard Allen Demko Jr., 19, 178 Spring St., Houtzdale, an inmate of the jail, was before Clearfield County Judge Fredric J. Ammerman in Clearfield County Court, where he pleaded guilty to person not to possess firearms and firearm not to be carried. He was sentenced to four to eight years in state prison.

In a separate case, Demko pleaded guilty to six counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, corruption of minors and possession of drug paraphernalia. For the first count of possession with intent to deliver, he was given a concurrent prison sentence of 15 months to three years in state prison and on each of the other charges concurrent sentences of one to two years. He was fined a total of $10 plus costs.

The charges in the first case stem from an incident in Woodward Township on April 6. According to the affidavit of probable cause, police received a report that a man was carrying a firearm in the Rails to Trails area. When the man saw the patrol unit, he fled on foot into a wooded area. A woman who was walking with the man identified as Demko, told police their relationship had ended and they were discussing their situation. She said she didn’t know if he had a firearm.

Another man from a neighboring residence yelled at police, stating a man dropped a firearm in the area beside his residence and took off running. Police continued patrolling the area and Demko was evidentially found hiding under a white trailer. The trailer was surrounded and Demko was taken into custody. He stated the pistol was not his, but belonged to a friend. He admitted he discharged the pistol while on Rails to Trails “because it was fun.”

The drug charges come from a drug bust on July 9 in Lawrence Township after police investigated a report of drug activity at the Knights Inn. In his hotel room, police saw three smoking devices, a bag of suspected marijuana and a jar containing numerous items of suspected drugs and paraphernalia. Although there were five other people there, Demko admitted to ownership of the drugs and allowed the officers to search the room.

They discovered additional drugs and paraphernalia, including 18 bags of synthetic marijuana, nine bags of marijuana, a bag with 15 Subutex pills, 59 doses of a drug similar to LSD, 18 bags of Special K (ketamine), seven bags containing ecstasy, four grams of a white powder, which was also ecstasy, a one-pound bag of damiana leaf used for manufacturing synthetic marijuana, and more than 200 small bags for packaging drugs.

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