DUBOIS – A Brockway woman will stand trial for allegedly possessing a quantity of methamphetamine that she was selling in a local hotel room.
Brittany Nicole Keech, 23, is charged with manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and criminal conspiracy.
After a preliminary hearing during centralized court, District Judge Patrick Ford ruled these charges should be sent on to the court of common pleas for further disposition. Keech’s bail was set at $10,000.
She is currently serving a state prison sentence of 10 months to two years for a probation violation on a retail theft charge.
These new charges stem from an incident Dec. 3 in Sandy Township when she was found in a local motel with drugs.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Sandy Township police were called to the Homewood Suites Hotel to investigate a strong odor of marijuana that was coming from one of the rooms.
When police arrived they were advised that a man who had exited that room was leaving through the side door. The officers made contact with this individual.
While they spoke with him, they could smell marijuana. He confirmed that he had just left the room in question. The officers thought he appeared nervous and was trying to avoid their questions. But when they asked, he consented to a search of his person and his back pack. An officer allegedly found a silver grinder that had a small amount of marijuana in it.
The officers detained him before speaking to the hotel manager regarding the report. They were told a man named “Clark” had rented the room but they thought it was Keech, who was actually in the room. The officers were aware that Keech had active warrants for her arrest.
As the officers walked down the hallway toward the room, they could smell burnt marijuana. It was strongest in front of the room reported as the source of the smell.
They knocked on the door and it was answered by Keech. After she opened the door, she walked away. One of the officers stopped her and advised her to sit on the couch. She stated her boyfriend was in the shower.
An officer knocked on the bathroom door and identified himself. A man, Justin Zeruth, opened the door. On the toilet, allegedly in plain view was a tin container with needles and a powdery substance.
Inside the tin was a small plastic bag with a clear to white crystal substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine, police said. On the sink was a straw and a razor blade. When Zeruth’s pants were searched for weapons, officers found $700.
The officers received permission from both occupants to search the room. They found two scales, used and unused needles, plastic bags, nine small bags of suspected meth, drug paraphernalia including smoking pipes and an additional $380 in cash, according to the report.
Keech and Zeruth were taken into custody. Zeruth told officer he and Keech had been selling drugs from the room. He said they would sell a gram of crystal meth for $50 and he had bought two eight balls of meth that they “cut” to sell.
Zeruth, 28, 36 Courson Road, DuBois, was also charged with manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and criminal conspiracy. He waived his right to a hearing in April. His bail is $1,000.
Both Keech and Zeruth were part of “Operation Ice Storm” which was a large scale investigation of a drug ring selling methamphetamine and heroin in the area.
More than 30 people were arrested in March as a result of this year long investigation by the DuBois City and Sandy Township police departments, the Clearfield County Drug Task Force, the District Attorney, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.