DUBOIS – Two people from Georgia accused of having drugs in a local hotel room waived their rights to a preliminary hearing Friday during Centralized Court in District Judge Patrick Ford’s office.
Charles Aaron Best, 33, 421 Fort Argyle Rd., Savannah, Ga., is charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal use of communication facility, criminal attempt- manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, and criminal conspiracy in one case and contraband/controlled substance in another case. His bail is $50,000 in the first case and $25,000 in the second case.
Carema Lashandra Brown, 27, 4711 Ogeechee Rd., Lot 6, Savannah, Ga., an inmate of the jail, is charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal use of communication facility, make repairs/sell/etc. offensive weapon, criminal attempt-manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, firearm not to be carried without a license, and introduce weapon may be used for escape. Her bail is $100,000.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Dec. 26 police were dispatched to the Clarion Hotel in Sandy Township to investigate a drug overdose. When police arrived, a female was unconscious on the floor and barely breathing but she did have a slow pulse.
An officer yelled at her and administered a sternum rub in attempt to wake her up. After about 15 minutes, she began to breathe normally and she asked what was going on. The other occupants of the room, including Brown, told her she had overdosed on heroin. She was taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands DuBois. Police then left the scene.
About two hours later, police were dispatched to the same hotel room for a disturbance with a male and a stolen pistol. Shortly after knocking, Brown answered the door. An officer could see the room was a mess with items all over the place. It looked as if a disturbance was taking place.
The officer ordered Brown out of the room and then entered where he found two men, Best and another man. These men were both standing upright and immediately complied with the command to place their hands up.
The other man was ordered out first, and he told them he had a knife on his right hip. This was seized. Best was ordered out of the room into the hallway. The officer then conducted a security sweep of the room to see if anyone else was in the room.
The three occupants were patted down. Multiple knives were removed from Best and the man with him. An electric incapacitating device was removed from Brown. It was determined Brown was the owner of the room and another adjacent room. She was asked to consent to a search of the rooms and she did.
When an officer tried to open the second room with a key, they found it to be looked from the inside. They knocked on the door. Brown was asked who was in the room. She said she did not believe it was even her room, because she had moved from that room into the current room. Hotel staff had informed police the second room was also rented by Brown.
Officers forced entry into the room by kicking the door and then by using a ballistic shield. They found Fred Springer hiding beside the bed. He was found to be under the influence of drugs and he was wanted by Jefferson County.
A search of the bags and a red cooler within the first room uncovered a digital scale, a container with a large amount of small plastic bags, a piece of copper screen commonly used as a filter, and a glass pipe containing residue.
The officers also found another electrical incapacitating device, a blow torch which is often used to create heat to use a methamphetamine pipe, a melted ladle with residue, a folding pocket knife, and an unmarked pill bottle with a small packet of unidentified pills in a duffle bag.
Also found in the room were glass pipes with residue that tested positive as methamphetamine, a bag of small plastic bags, a pipe screen, a small amount of marijuana, a digital scale, a mirror, two propane canisters, four different cell phones, and a metal tube used for ingesting drugs.
Best had three stamp bags with drug residue, a glass pipe with residue, $367 in cash and Brown had multiple access device cards, identification cards not in her name and $1,370 in cash.
The charges in Best’s second case were filed after incidents that occurred, as Brown and Best were transported to the county jail. According to that affidavit, both of them were acting suspicious in the back of the patrol car. Brown was moving all around and saying that she was uncomfortable. When they were asked what they were doing, they didn’t respond.
Best, at one point, stated he found some small plastic baggies in the parking lot that he had picked up so no little kids would get them and had put them in his pocket.
After they arrived at the jail, an officer asked a female officer to search Brown thoroughly because she might be concealing contraband.
Best was placed up against the wall and a small baggie of marijuana fell from his left pants leg. He commented “someone left some weed on the floor.” The officer told him he saw it fall from his pant leg and then he checked Best’s right pant leg. Here the officer found a large plastic baggie and plastic baggies in his sock.
When the patrol vehicle was searched, an officer found a loaded nine millimeter handgun under the seat where Best had been seated. Brown issued a written confession that she had the handgun in her possession in her pants. An investigation determined that Best had the gun and it was collateral for a drug sale by Best and Brown.