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Valley News Dispatch

Gilpin man pleads not guilty to reduced drug charges

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 3:22 p.m.
Gilpin police say they confiscated these illegal drugs, money and guns from Dennis Kreashko's home and car in September 2017.
Madasyn Czebiniak | Tribune-Review
Gilpin police say they confiscated these illegal drugs, money and guns from Dennis Kreashko's home and car in September 2017.
Dennis Kreashko
Courtesy of Armstrong County Jail
Dennis Kreashko

A Gilpin man will stand trial on drug charges stemming from a traffic stop on River Road in September.

Dennis Kreashko, 53, of Evergreen Road pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and misdemeanor charges of simple possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and narcotic pills.

Kreashko's attorney, Duke George, said he will try to get the trial stopped before it starts. George said he plans to argue that police didn't have probable cause to search Kreashko's car when they stopped him.

Police stopped Kreashko on Sept. 27, court documents state, because the license plate on the vehicle he was driving was registered to a different vehicle.

In pretrial proceedings, George anticipates arguing that the search was improper and violated the Constitutional protection against illegal search.

In court documents, however, Gilpin police state that officers obtained Kreashko's permission to search his vehicle, subsequently finding drugs. The documents also state police confiscated more than $3,000 found on Kreashko during the traffic stop.

At the time of his arrest, court documents show, Kreashko was out of jail on bond, awaiting trial on a previous drug arrest.

Following Kreashko's most recent arrest, police searched his home, where, they claim, they found more drugs, weapons, money and materials for packaging drugs.

At the time, police and Armstrong County prosecutors hailed the bust, saying they hoped the large amounts of drugs confiscated would put a significant dent in the Kiski Valley's illegal drug trade.

At Kreashko's hearing, however, four of the five felony charges against him were reduced to misdemeanors, and charges against an alleged accomplice were dismissed completely.

The search of Kreashko's home lead to the arrest of a woman who sometimes stayed with Kreashko, but charges against the woman — conspiracy to sell and possess drugs and drug paraphernalia — were dismissed by District Judge James Andring after George argued there was no evidence the woman was staying with Kreashko at the time the drugs were found in his home.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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