Clearfield Drug Suspects Waive Hearings

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield couple is facing charges after drugs and associated paraphernalia were allegedly found in their apartment.

Joshua Allen Root, 33, has been charged by Officer Levi Olson of the Lawrence Township police with one felony count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; four misdemeanor counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance; and four misdemeanor counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cherie Elise Del-Re, 28, has also been charged with one felony count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; six misdemeanor counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance; four counts of marijuana/small amount personal use; and 13 counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both Root and Del-Re waived their rights to preliminary hearings during centralized court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail. Their bail has been set at $50,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The charges stem from a search warrant that was executed Nov. 15 at their apartment in the Edgewood Apartment Complex, located on Valley View Drive, in Clearfield, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Olson was assisted on-scene by Officers Ralph Nedza, Zachary Cowan and Craig Kanour of the township police, a state police K9 trooper and two Clearfield Borough officers.

Township officers assembled at the front door, Olson knocked and announced “police, search warrant” three times. Officers entered with a key provided by the housing authority.

Inside police didn’t have contact with anyone on the first floor. On the second-floor, it was observed a bedroom door was locked and had a doorknob requiring a key.

At the last bedroom, officers encountered a male, advised him of the search warrant and asked him to open his door, which he did.

The male who officers recognized as Root, stood behind the door with his hands raised. A female was on the bed, she stood and raised her hands.  Both were handcuffed for safety purposes.

Root was asked about the whereabouts of the tenant, Del-Re, and he advised she wasn’t there. He said the locked bedroom belonged to her, and he wasn’t sure where she kept the key.

Officers placed Root and the female into patrol units and entry was forced into the bedroom. No one was located inside. Once the apartment was clear, the K9 trooper began a search.

On the first-floor, a Ziplock bag containing blue and white pills was found in a cabinet next to the refrigerator. The white pills were stamped with numbers, and the bag was seized because it was suspected that it contained buprenorphine.

On the counter next to the sink and strainer was a metal tube with residue, which was seized as possible drug paraphernalia.

Inside a blue tote in the kitchen closet, Nedza located a yellow notepad with pricing information for “chicken,” the weight was given in grams and prices were between $100 and $200.

On the second-floor, police confirmed the locked room belonged to Del-Re by a payment order from the district court, which identified her. The other room was identified as belonging to Root via his driver’s license and wallet on the nightstand.

In Del-Re’s bedroom, officers located a digital scale, a green plastic bag, metal weights (for the scale), torch lighters and a razor blade in plain view.

In an end table drawer, police located a brown, glass bulb pipe wrapped in a blue bandana and a plastic container with one buprenorphine tablet. All the items were seized, except for the razor blade.

Inside the closet, there were a blue, rubber bong and a clear, glass bong with residue on the top shelf. In the top dresser drawer, there was a snuff container with two plastic bags and a black pouch containing a red cut straw and pill caddie; a black- and orange-striped straw that had been cut; and two more plastic bags with residue.

All these items were seized as evidence and located next to air pistols that were realistic in appearance, according to the affidavit.

Further search of Del-Re’s room turned up a purple and blue backpack containing a large number of blue plastic bags and a black bag with multiple plastic containers and bags.

One container was a large, green pill bottle that had four plastic bags of suspected marijuana. Also, in this bag, there was a plastic toolbox containing four brown, glass pipes with residue; a torch lighter; a large number of plastic bags; and a plastic bag with one capsule of a green substance and one capsule of a white substance.

Also, police found a container of loose change with a large plastic bag with a brown, glass pipe with residue that reportedly smelled like burnt marijuana.  The bags and their contents were seized as evidence.

In Root’s room, officers located two bags of a white, crystalline substance and a torch lighter in plain view. Bags containing the same substance were found in a plastic tray on the top shelf of the closet, next to an air pistol, and in a felt drawer.

On a mattress, they observed a “large bulge” under the sheet and mattress pad, which was reportedly from a rubber bong, digital scale and a “Goodcook” measuring cup.

Under the mattress, they located a syringe containing .25cc of liquid and a blue notebook. A page contained five names with dollar amounts next to each and “Pd.”

Police contacted the county’s Probation Department after the search and reported their findings. The department called in a verbal detainer on Root to have him incarcerated.

During an interview, Root allegedly admitted that the white, crystalline substance was methamphetamine, and it was for his personal use. He also allegedly admitted to giving the female with him Subutex and the syringe contained methamphetamine for her to inject.

Root was asked if he had been selling any drugs and didn’t say anything. Police noted Root avoided eye contact and they found this to be “deceptive.”  At this point, Root said he didn’t feel police had proof of this.

Root was then transported to the jail and housed on a probation violation.  Photographs were taken of the seized items and the green, leafy and white, crystalline substances were NIK tested and showed positive for marijuana and methamphetamine.

The suspected drugs were later sent to the Erie Regional Crime Laboratory for further analysis. Numerous other items were logged and secured in the police station’s evidence room.

Upon further inspection of a black bag, plastic containers and tool box, one bag of pills was determined to only be Aspirin and Aleve. The syringe containing liquid was properly disposed of.

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