CLEARFIELD – A preliminary hearing has been continued by Magisterial District Judge Jerome M. Nevling for a 34-year-old Drifting man who allegedly sold eight bags of heroin to a confidential informant in May. His hearing has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 12, according to court documents.
Joseph Lee Martin, 34, of Drifting faces charges of manufacture, deliver, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility. Martin’s bail is set at $25,000 unsecured.
The charges stem from a joint investigation by the state’s Attorney General’s office and the Clearfield County Drug Task Force. In May, an agent began investigating the sale and distribution of heroin and other controlled substances by Martin. During the investigation, the agent developed an informant who said they could purchase heroin, a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, from Martin.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the agent and informant made a controlled purchase of eight bags of heroin from inside a vehicle near the Hotel Bar Avondale. The agent supervised the controlled purchase.
Afterward the substance purchased from Martin was field tested; it tested positive for the presence of heroin. The evidence was then forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab for further analysis.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. May 9, the agent met the informant in a pre-determined location. The agent completed a strip search of the informant, which produced negative results for money, drugs and or contraband. The informant made prior arrangements to meet Martin at the Hotel Bar Avondale to purchase heroin.
At approximately 11:15 a.m., the agent and informant arrived in the parking lot. Upon arrival the agent observed a Caucasian man who was exiting a dark blue Pontiac. The informant advised it was Martin who was waiting for them.
They exited the informant’s vehicle and entered the Hotel Bar Avondale and were followed by Martin. The informant introduced the agent to Martin at which time the informant and Martin played several games of pool.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the informant approached Martin and wanted to purchase $200 worth of heroin. The informant and Martin briefly spoke about it after which the agent was informed that Martin didn’t feel comfortable with him.
The informant told the agent he’d likely go for a ride with Martin to purchase the heroin. He told the agent that he’d have to remain at the Hotel Bar Avondale. The agent then provided the informant with $200 to purchase the heroin from Martin.
The agent and Martin played pool with another unknown Caucasian man. At this time, they agreed that Martin and the informant would go for a ride and the informant would purchase heroin from Martin.
After the last game of pool, the informant and agent, Martin and the unknown man went to the front of the bar. The man and the informant followed Martin outside to the vehicle, and the agent followed them. Martin entered the driver’s side door and the informant the front passenger seat. The agent sat behind the informant and the unknown man behind Martin.
At approximately 12:32 p.m., Martin departed the Hotel Bar Avondale. He drove to an area near Black Bear Creek and pulled off into a turn-around area just beyond the bridge. Martin retrieved eight bags of heroin from his jacket pocket and provided them to the informant who gave him $200. The agent observed the exchange and the informant placed the heroin in his left front pocket.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Martin had several additional bags of heroin that were rubber-banded together, which he returned to his pocket. Martin wanted to smoke marijuana but believed he’d left it behind, as he’d changed clothes before going to the Hotel Bar Avondale.
Martin drove back to the Hotel Bar Avondale and parked there at approximately 12:39 p.m. Before the agent and the informant exited the vehicle, Martin asked if the agent was a “narcotics agent” to which the agent replied “Absolutely, I’m not.”
While the agent and informant exited the vehicle, Martin informed them that he would have ecstasy pills, mushrooms, crack cocaine and anything else they would want in approximately one week. The unknown man exited the back of the vehicle and entered the front passenger seat. Martin departed.
At approximately 12:41, the agent and informant entered the informant’s vehicle and departed en route to a pre-determined debriefing location. Before they departed, the informant reached into his pocket and provided the agent with the eight bags of heroin that he’d just purchased from Martin for $200.
At approximately 1:44 p.m., the informant completed his statement and provided it to the agent. He said the deal was arranged via text message with Martin during the early morning hours of May 9. The exchange reads as follows:
- 12:37 a.m., Outgoing: “Hey man could not make it down tonight cause my mom, got to stay with her. What about tomoro B 4 work if not maybe after?”
- 12:54 a.m., Incoming: “How about we hook up at 11 – 11:30. Bring lots of Quarters. Heheh.”
- 12:56 a.m., Outgoing: “2moro night? Yeh ok sounds good.”
- 12:58 a.m., Incoming: “I meant in the morning. ;) They open at 11.”
- 1 a.m., Incoming: “Or we can meet after work lol whatever.”
- 1 a.m., Outgoing: OK bud I will txt u, I want some brwn, cool?”
- 1 a.m., Incoming: “Yeah.”
- 1:01 a.m., Outgoing: “K, about noon sounds great.”
- 1:02 a.m., Incoming: “Cool.”
At approximately 2:07 p.m., the agent completed a strip search of the informant, which produced negative results for money, drugs and or contraband. The informant was released and the agent departed with eight bags of heroin. The agent field-tested the heroin purchased by the informant from Martin. The field test yielded positive results for the presence of heroin.
The agent subsequently prepared a request for forensic analysis and the evidence was submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab for further analysis.