Hearings Continued in Drug Cases

CLEARFIELD – Yesterday, the preliminary hearings were continued until March 19 for three New York residents who were allegedly found in possession of large amounts of drugs and cash after a traffic stop in Lawrence Township.

Edward Allen, 39, of Far Rockaway, NY, has been charged with conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; use/possession of drug paraphernalia; and make repairs/sell, etc. offensive weapon.

Shaking Saunders, 36, also of Far Rockaway, NY, has been charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; use/possession of drug paraphernalia; conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; and intentional possession of a controlled substance.

Lashanda Mount, 28, of Saratoga Springs, NY has been charged with conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. Allen and Saunders are incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 bail; Mount is incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 23, Lawrence Township police received information about drug activity. The caller, Michael A. Moore II, was to pick up three African-American males and one African-American female at an area motel to give them a ride to another one.

Moore also told police that the males were to be in possession of crack cocaine, large amounts of cash and several items they’d stolen from him, as he owed them money. Moore was to meet them prior to checkout to take them to the other motel, as they didn’t want to stay at one for too long.

Upon receiving this information, police contacted the county’s agent with the Attorney General’s office. After that police decided to initiate a traffic stop because of Moore’s warrant information and for him driving without a license. Later on, Moore text-messaged police saying they were leaving and that everyone was in his vehicle.

Police proceeded to travel west on state Route 879 and observed the vehicle in question in front of them. Police initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle prior to the Wolf Run intersection on SR 879. Police observed five people inside the vehicle and asked Moore to turn off the vehicle, remove the keys from the ignition and step out.

Police searched Moore and placed him into cuffs. All other individuals were then removed from the vehicle and searched before being cuffed and placed in the patrol vehicle. All of the individuals were subsequently transported to the Lawrence Township police station for further investigation.

During an interview, Moore told police that there would be drugs, cash, guns, laptop computers, an iPad, Kindle, play station, drug paraphernalia, scales and crack cocaine inside the vehicle. Some of these items, he said, would be in a black duffel bag in the trunk, as well as within the trunk itself.

Moore also provided a written statement about what he witnessed when he picked up the defendants. He observed a large quantity of narcotics and money being stored in two, different duffel bags. A red duffel bag, Moore said, contained hundreds of half-gram bags of crack cocaine; a black duffel bag, he said, contained a large quantity of cash in mainly $100 bills.

At the station, police conducted strip searches of all of the individuals, and $604 was found on Saunders. Police also obtained permission to search the vehicle, and Allen and Mount both permitted police to search their bags, which were red and black in color.

A bag belonging to Allen contained a cellular phone and a strong odor of marijuana. In addition to that, police also found a black duffel bag, a silver and black duffel bag, a leather computer bag and a laptop computer. Based upon information, police obtained a search warrant for additional contents within the vehicle and the bags located within.

After receiving the search warrant, state police and a narcotic dog arrived at the Lawrence Township police station to search for narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Upon searching one black duffel bag, the dog hit on its contents. Police subsequently opened a side compartment of the bag and found $7,814 in assorted bills in individually wrapped stacks.

Upon opening the main compartment of the bag, police found 50.3 grams of crack cocaine, which was wrapped inside a Wal-Mart bag. Police then searched the black and silver duffel bag and didn’t find anything; however, the leather computer bag contained one digital scale, as well as receipts for money transfers in the amount of $4,236.

All evidence was seized, photographed and documented and then sent to the Erie Regional Crime Lab for testing.

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