Federal cocaine charges filed against Leechburg man suing borough
A Leechburg man who is suing Leechburg and its police in federal court and a Plum man have been charged by federal authorities with transporting cocaine in Missouri in October.
Lewis J. Machen, 65, of Lynn Ann Drive, Plum, and passenger Travis J. Lasko, 47, of Spang Ave., Leechburg, were arrested by the Missouri highway patrol on Oct. 5. POlice said they found about 35 pounds of cocaine hidden in a juke box in a truck that Machen was driving.
The men initially were facing Missouri state charges. But they were indicted last Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City.
They had entered not guilty pleas in state court. Machen and Lasko were to be transferred from the Saline County Jail to Kansas City.
Machen and Lasko are charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.
According to the indictment, the men conspired “with each other and others” to distribute a large amount of cocaine or cocaine mix between Sept. 6 and Oct. 5.
According to arrest reports, Machen was driving a silver Chevrolet Suburban on Interstate 70 in Saline County, Mo., just before 11:30 a.m. when he was pulled over for an improper lane change about 60 miles east of Kansas City, Mo.
In the arrest report, a patrolman said Machen 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 allegedly “alerted to the odor of an illegal drug emanating from the rear of the truck,” the report states.
In addition to cocaine, police said they found about 1.4 ounces of marijuana.
In a pending federal lawsuit, Lasko is suing Leechburg Borough, its police department and the Armstrong County District Attorney for his 2006 arrest.
His sentence was vacated but only after he had served 16 months of a 15- to 30-month prison sentence.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lower Burrell 5th-grader illustrates power of kindness with cancer charity
- ATI steam explosion in Harrison rocked homes in four counties
- Arnold woman severely injured in Allegheny Township wreck
- ‘I can’t get rid of the house’: Arnold home hit by car last year struck again
- Weather postpones Route 56 closure in New Kensington
- Second teen charged in Jan. 1 Tarentum shooting
- Proposed animal shelter clears 1st hurdle in Lower Burrell
- Indiana Township police sniff out pot shipments
- Corps advises to haul radioactive waste out of Parks Township dump
- Riverview might ask to raise taxes above 2.3% limit