Gilpin traffic stop turns up drugs, guns and money
Gilpin police uncovered a treasure trove of drugs, guns and money following what they described as a “normal” traffic stop Wednesday — a lucky circumstance local and county officials hope will help curb drug trafficking in the area.
Dennis Kreashko, 52, was arrested in the area of River Road (Route 66) and Airport Road after police stopped his silver Pontiac coupe about 10:30 a.m. for having the wrong license plate on the car, police Chief Lee Schumaker said.
Kreashko of Evergreen Road, Gilpin, is charged with traffic violations and various drug offenses, among them five felony charges of possession with intent to deliver drugs.
During a news conference at the Gilpin municipal building Thursday, arresting Officer David Antal said Kreashko was acting strange during the traffic stop. He also was moving various items around in his vehicle, Antal said.
“When I returned to my vehicle to run his information through 911, he refused to sit still,” Antal said. “(Other drivers) normally just sit there and wait for you to come back. He was all throughout the car — very frantic.”
Kreashko was asked to step out of the car, where he was patted down by an assisting officer, an affidavit said.
Police say they found a large sum of money on Kreashko during the pat down. When the car was searched, police said they uncovered two bags of suspected methamphetamines, marijuana, prescription pills, suspected crack cocaine and nearly $3,200 in cash.
A subsequent search of Kreashko's home turned up more of the same drugs, among them 133 prescription pills, police said.
Officers additionally seized four handguns and two long guns — at least two that were stolen, the chief said.
Kreashko is known to police and is someone who was suspected of being involved in drug trafficking, Armstrong District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.
Andreassi said the arrest goes “a long way toward stopping the drug trade in this part of the county.”
Andreassi credited Antal's handling of the traffic stop that led to the drug find.
Additional charges — and arrests — are possible, Schumaker said.
Linda Alworth, Gilpin supervisor and police commissioner, commended police for their efforts in apprehending Kreashko.
Kreashko also is charged with illegally possessing guns because he is a felon.
Kreashko was taken to the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.
Kreashko has been arrested before:
• 1996: Kreashko and others were charged in federal court for making meth in Kiski Township and Gilpin and selling it in the region. According to federal records, in 2008 he was sentenced to time served and ordered to begin three years of probation.
• 1998: Kreashko went to a state prison to serve a five- to 10-year sentence for a drug sale in Monroeville. He was paroled from a halfway house in July 2001, according to state records.
• Last month, Kreashko was pulled over in Allegheny Township for driving at night without lights on.
Police say they found cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and close to $1,800 in cash. They charged Kreashko with possession with intent to deliver and related charges.
A preliminary hearing on those charges will be held Oct. 10.
In March 2013, Kreashko and his wife sued Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold and state police Cpl. Dan Herr for harassment and stalking charges against the Kreashkos, even though the county district attorney's office not only advised that the charges be withdrawn but refused to prosecute the case.
The suit claims the charges violated the Kreashkos' constitutional rights.
In August 2013, Leechburg paid $4,000 and state police $1,000 to settle.
Madasyn Czebiniak and Chuck Biedka are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach Czebiniak at 724-226-4702, email@example.com or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib. Reach Biedka at 724-226-4711, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.