CLEARFIELD – The case against a Bronx, NY man accused of distributing crack cocaine in the Clearfield area was back in Clearfield County Court on Friday.
For an Oct. 9, 2014 drug bust, Luther L. Ware,64, of Bronx, NY is facing charges of conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; criminal use of communication facility; and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
The drug bust occurred at Ware’s apartment on Turnpike Avenue in Clearfield. Prior to the drug bust, a confidential informant allegedly purchased $100 worth of crack cocaine from Ware. When agents obtained and executed a search warrant, they allegedly seized crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Ware’s apartment.
On March 10, Ware had new drug charges filed against him by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. These charges included conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; corrupt organizations; dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities; criminal use of a communication facility; and conspiracy to violate 911b1, 911b2, 911b3.
At a hearing Friday, Clearfield County President Judge Fredric Ammerman heard testimony from the narcotics agent who prepared and obtained the search warrant to be executed at Ware’s apartment Oct. 9, 2014.
The agent said they began preparing the “anticipatory” search warrant around 3 p.m. The agent explained that they anticipated a successful controlled buy of crack cocaine from Ware at his apartment.
The agent said they learned from a CI that Ware would be traveling from New York and bringing a supply of crack cocaine for distribution in the Clearfield area.
According to the agent, this CI testified before a grand jury. In their testimony, the agent said this CI offered incriminating information. “Usually, they take themselves out of the mix,” the agent said.
Further, the agent said the CI had learned Ware was expected to bring a supply of crack cocaine from New York to Clearfield from one of Ware’s distributors.
The agent noted that the CI had phone contact with Ware’s distributor while in the presence of AG agents. The agent said the CI took them to Ware’s distributor’s residence.
The agent said Ware’s distributor indicated they were “ready to do the right thing” and cooperate with law enforcement. The agent said Ware’s distributor was transported to the Lawrence Township police station.
There, the agent said they interviewed Ware’s distributor regarding Ware’s alleged distribution of crack cocaine in the Clearfield area. The agent said they asked questions for which they already had answers.
By doing so, the agent said they were able to determine that Ware’s distributor was a credible source for information. The agent said they had Ware’s distributor contact Ware to determine when he would arrive in Clearfield and what he would have with him in terms of controlled substances.
The agent said they planned for Ware’s distributor to act as a CI for a controlled buy of one gram of crack cocaine from Ware for $100. The agent said if the controlled buy was successful, agents planned to execute the search warrant.
Once Ware’s distributor agreed to act as a CI, the agent said they were directed to contact Ware. The agent said Ware initially expected to arrive around 6 p.m. Oct. 9, 2014 in Clearfield. However, in later contact, Ware related to the CI that he’d be at his Turnpike Avenue apartment around 9 p.m.
In order to obtain the search warrant, the agent said they went before Centre County’s President Judge Thomas Kistler. The agent said there wasn’t a judge available in Clearfield County. The agent said Kistler found there was probable cause to grant the search warrant.
The agent said upon receiving the search warrant, they notified another agent who was supervising the controlled buy between the CI and Ware. After the CI made the controlled buy, the agent said they’d met the search warrant’s criteria and proceeded with its execution.
As a result of the search warrant, the agent said they found heroin on the kitchen table, crack cocaine outside the living room window and amounts of crack cocaine and marijuana that were thrown out the kitchen window.
The agent said they believed Ware resided at the apartment with another New York man. However, the agent said he wasn’t at the apartment at the time the CI made the controlled buy from Ware and when agents executed the search warrant.
Under cross-examination, the agent agreed that the case paperwork didn’t identify what property belonged to Ware from that of his roommate. The agent also agreed that he didn’t have any prior dealings with Ware’s distributor and their CI for the controlled buy before meeting with them Oct. 8, 2014.
However, the agent reiterated that the CI provided information that was consistent with that collected during their investigation of Ware. The agent said the AG’s Office had approximately 10 CIs, and they all provided consistent information regarding Ware being a source for crack cocaine in the Clearfield area.
Ammerman asked for David C. Gorman of the state AG’s Office and defense attorney Jeffrey S. DuBois to submit briefs on the defense’s motion for suppression of the search warrant in this case. Ammerman advised that the briefs were due to him June 5.
Ware’s trial is currently scheduled for June 9-12 in Clearfield County Court.