TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Local men accused of hauling cocaine

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

MARSHALL, MO — Two Alle-Kiski Valley men were arrested in Missouri on Friday morning for allegedly having about $500,000 worth of cocaine hidden inside a juke box.

According to arrest reports, Lou Machen, 64, of Lynn Ann Drive, Plum, was driving a silver Chevrolet Suburban on Interstate 70 in Saline County just before 11:30 a.m. Friday when he was pulled over for an alleged improper lane change.

Machen and passenger Travis J. Lasko, 47, of Spang Ave., Leechburg, were in the Saline County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond each pending a hearing, a jail spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday.

Machen is facing vehicle and drug charges. Lasko is charged with drug possession.

In a pending federal lawsuit, Lasko is suing Leechburg Borough, its police department and the Armstrong County District Attorney for a 2006 arrest. His sentence was vacated but only after he had served 16 months of a 15- to 30-month prison sentence.

His latest arrest happened about 60 miles east of Kansas City, Mo..

In the arrest report, a patrolman said Machen allegedly told him that he and Lasko were on their way back to Pennsylvania after taking items to Los Angeles for Lasko's mother-in-law.

The patrolman said Machen was acting suspiciously and refused to allow the SUV to be searched. That's when a police dog, Puki, was brought to the scene. The dog “alerted to the odor of an illegal drug emanating from the rear of the truck,” the arrest report states.

Police say they found an “old-style” juke box in the cargo area and, behind the two speakers, patrolmen say they found about 35 pounds of powder cocaine. Police said they also found about 1.4 ounces of marijuana and some hashish.

Cocaine has a street value of about $30,000 a pound in the Alle-Kiski Valley, according to Lower Burrell police Lt. Robert Galvanek.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  3. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  4. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  5. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  6. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  7. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  8. West Liberty pitcher hones skills in South
  9. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  10. Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh transfers great fare it’s been known for in the Pittsburgh region to the Steel City
  11. Festival to fill Pittsburgh’s ‘biggest hall’ with vintage arcade games