Drug Suspects Waive Hearings

GAVEL 2

CLEARFIELD – Two New York men who were a part of a group accused of selling drugs in Clearfield County waived their rights to preliminary hearings during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Shaking D. Saunders, 37, and Edward A. Allen, 39, both of Far Rockaway, NY, have been charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; conspiracy-manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered; conspiracy-intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered; use/possession of drug paraphernalia; and conspiracy-use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Allen is also charged with criminal use of a communications facility. Both Saunders and Allen are incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The 36th statewide investigating grand jury, the Office of the Attorney General, the Pennsylvania State Police, an AG agent and an officer with the Clearfield County Drug Task Force have conducted an investigation into the violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act by Lashanda Mount, Allen, David Batista and Saunders.

According to the presentment, a traffic stop was conducted on a Chevrolet Impala on Feb. 23 at the intersection of state Route 879 and Industrial Drive in Lawrence Township. Michael Moore was operating the vehicle. Allen was a front seat passenger while Mount, Batista and Saunders were backseat passengers.

All occupants were removed and police obtained consent to search the vehicle. While the search didn’t uncover anything related to controlled substances, there were numerous bags inside. Police subsequently obtained consent to search some of the bags; however, they obtained a search warrant for the remainder of them.

Inside a bag allegedly owned by Allen, police found a cellular phone. When police located the cellular phone, they also detected a strong odor of marijuana. Also, police found a box of plastic baggies, as well as a clear zip-lock bag containing several smaller green zip-lock bags. These items, according to an AG agent, are consistent with the distribution of controlled substances.

Police requested a K9 Unit from the Pennsylvania State Police to assist with the search of the bags. The K9 alerted to a black bag that contained currency and a suspected large amount of crack cocaine. The currency was in two bundles with one totaling $3,150 and the other totaling $4,000. The K9 alerted to both bundles of currency, which police sad indicates it had been exposed to controlled substances.

The suspected crack cocaine in the black bag was in a plastic bag that contained other, smaller bags of a white, rocky substance; this was found to be 38.62 grams of crack cocaine. Also, in the bag was the New York identification for Saunders, according to the presentment.

The K-9 also alerted to a silver-lined black bag and a black laptop bag. Inside the laptop bag, police found Western Union money order receipts; eight of the receipts were in the amount of $500. One other receipt was for $236. These types of money transfers, an AG agent said, are consistent with the distribution of controlled substances.

Also, in the laptop bag, police found a digital scale with a cocaine residue on it. The scale, police said, was apparently used to weigh out smaller quantities of crack cocaine for sale.

A confidential source told AG agents that the group had been in the Clearfield area selling drugs – primarily crack cocaine/cocaine for at least one week prior to the Feb. 23 traffic stop. The group allegedly moved from hotel to hotel in the Clearfield County area. Moore, the source, said had booked a room for the group at the Travel Lodge for Feb. 21 until they left on Feb. 23.

According to the source, Mount bagged cocaine into half-gram and one-gram bags during this time and before. At the time of the traffic stop, she’d told Moore she was waiting for two ounces of soft cocaine to be delivered, so that she could start her own drug business.

The source told AG agents that Allen directed the group to particular hotels and determined who paid for what. He also allegedly had three to four cellular phone numbers for people, such as Moore, to contact him to purchase crack cocaine. The source said that Allen and Batista had discussions regarding amounts and prices for Moore.

Moore, the source said, had booked the room at the Travel Lodge in his name. He arrived Feb. 23 to pick up Allen, Saunders, Mount and Batista to take them to another hotel. The source said Moore had given the group a PlayStation 3, a Kindle Fire, an iPad and a laptop computer to pay off his drug debt. Police found these items among the bags during their search.

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