Man to Stand Trial Over Police Seizure of Explosives at Clearfield Residence

CLEARFIELD – A fugitive staying at a Clearfield residence where explosive materials, including an active pipe bomb, were allegedly seized by police will stand trial.

Jonathan Michael Harvey, 23, of Morrisdale has been charged by Officer Elliott Neeper of the Lawrence Township police with weapons of mass destruction, F2, and make repairs/sell, etc., offensive weapon, M1.  His bail is set at $50,000 monetary.

Harvey had both charges held to the court of common pleas by Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling on Wednesday following a preliminary hearing at the Clearfield County Jail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 1, Neeper received a call from State Parole Agent Keith Summerson about a fugitive, who was identified as Harvey, in Lawrence Township. 

Summerson believed Harvey was staying with Jake F. Schneider, 22, of Munson at a residence on Daisy Street Extension. He had an active warrant for fleeing from Tomorrow’s Hope in Coalport.

Neeper responded to the area and located a dark blue Jeep in a driveway. It was registered to Schneider. Neeper provided the information to state parole, which responded to the scene. An agent knocked on the door and could hear people moving around and running toward the rear of the trailer.

Schneider answered the door and appeared to be under the influence. He had “glassy” eyes and “groggy” speech, according to the affidavit. Agents informed him they were looking for Harvey, and Schneider told them that he wasn’t there.

However, agents said they’d heard sounds of someone in a rear bedroom. Schneider asked if they had a warrant and started to give agents a hard time, stating he “liked his privacy.” Schneider was told there was a warrant for Harvey, and if he was found inside, he could be arrested for harboring a fugitive.

Summerson went to a nearby residence, and a neighbor told him that she’d seen both men at the residence. She specifically stated she’d seen Harvey inside, and if a red car was in the garage and a blue Jeep in the driveway, both were at home.

Schneider was informed agents were aware Harvey was inside and he was asked to step outside. Another agent yelled inside that he was with state parole and Harvey was to come out with his hands up. When he did, officers went inside and took him into custody without incident.

Schneider was subsequently detained outside the residence, and authorities conducted a protective sweep to ensure there wasn’t anyone else inside.

On a coffee table in the living room, officers observed drugs and paraphernalia in plain view. Officers allegedly located a homemade pipe made from a tea bottle; six fingertips cut from rubber gloves that had been tied shut; a bottle of personal lubricant; a knife; rolling papers; and electronics.

The fingertips from the gloves contained an unknown green, leaf material. An electric bill with Schneider’s name on it was found with these items, police said. All of the items were collected and seized as evidence.

When advised he’d be charged and jailed for harboring a fugitive, Schneider said he was on probation in Centre County. Police contacted the Centre County Department of Probation, which placed a detainer on him.

Before Schneider was transported to county jail, he asked for a pair of shoes from inside the trailer. A state parole agent went inside to look around near the entrance. 

Upon closing the front door, agents found a hutch that contained eight to 10 vacuum-sealed pouches of suspected synthetic marijuana or K2.

The pouches were labeled “Twilight,” “Head Trip,” “Zero Gravity” and “Heavens Grass.” A bag was located beside the hutch; it was open and its contents were visible in plain view. Officers allegedly observed gun powder, wire, caps and the end of a pipe, which are all associated with the construction of homemade pipe bombs.

Schneider was taken to the county jail and housed on a detainer. Harvey was taken to the township police station. When police were logging in the evidence, they allegedly found an assembled pipe bomb in the bottom of a bag. It was removed from the station and placed into a safe zone until the Pennsylvania State Police Bomb Unit could respond to the scene.

Police located receipts from Lowe’s and Field & Stream, where materials had been purchased. Both stores were contacted so that police could obtain surveillance video.

On March 1, police interviewed Harvey and he denied ownership of the coffee table items, even though he’d claimed them at the scene. He claimed the items belonged to Schneider.

When asked about the explosive materials, Harvey declined to give details on their intent for them but said he’d be on surveillance with Schneider at both stores.

Harvey declined to provide any other details but admitted to being knowledgeable of the items. He did say that they didn’t make them to cause harm to specific people.

When the interview was terminated, state parole took Harvey into custody. He was subsequently taken to the State Correctional Institution at Benner.

On March 1, members of the Pennsylvania State Police Bomb Squad Division arrived at the station to analyze and disarm the collected active pipe bomb. PSP members x-rayed it and found it contained black powder and a fuse. It was disarmed, collected and packaged to be sent to the Harrisburg Crime Lab.

On March 8, police collected surveillance from Lowe’s and Field & Stream, both of Altoona. In the video, police observed Schneider and Harvey at Lowe’s purchasing galvanized pipe. In Field & Stream, Schneider was observed purchasing black smokeless powder.

On March 15, police received the lab results, which confirmed explosive powder was inside the disarmed pipe bomb.

In reference to the drug-related items, the fingertips contained green vegetable material with chemicals that are Schedule I substances. The total gross weight of all six rubber fingertips collected was 22.45 grams. The vapor liquid collected from the coffee table also contained a chemical that’s a Schedule I substance.

When logging Schneider’s cell phone and Kindle into evidence, officers found on the device – entitled “Jake’s Tablet” – a search history that included “how to obtain a firearm illegally.” Other icons were indicating the use of the “Dark Web” while powering down.

The “Dark Web” is known as a place criminal activity is facilitated without tracking to maintain total anonymity. Web sites on the “Dark Web” involve drugs, weapons and illegal activity, police said. A search warrant was obtained for both devices and is pending results.

Schneider is also charged with weapons of mass destruction, F2; conspiracy/weapons of mass destruction, F2; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, F; intentional possession of a controlled substance, M; use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M; and hindering apprehension, M2. His hearing is set for 11 a.m. June 21.

 

 

 

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