Share This Page

Monessen football players charged with drugs, weapons found in lockers

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 11:06 a.m.

Two semi-automatic guns and drugs were found in lockers belonging to three Monessen High School football players during a Thursday evening practice, police said.

The three teenagers — ages 15, 16 and 17 — were arrested by city police after coaches conducted an apparent random sweep of the players' lockers at the high school football stadium, said city police Chief Mark Gibson.

“They didn't tell me what made them suspicious,” Gibson said.

The teens' names were not released. They were being held in the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center in Hempfield.

Monessen played a football game against Serra Catholic on Friday night. Earlier in the day, head coach Andy Pacek said he was upset by the arrests.

“A heartbroken father. That would be a good description of how I feel,” Pacek said. “As a team, we're going to be fine, though.”

The team practiced at Monessen's stadium on Thursday evening, he said.

Police arrived there about 8 p.m., Gibson said. He said he has seen problems with teens in the community “but not to this extent.”

“It's very discouraging and disappointing that they would bring any of this onto school property,” he said.

Gibson said Pacek was upset after the items were discovered.

“Andy was very disheartened,” Gibson said of the coach. “Those players on that team are like his own children. But his job is to protect those players. They have to follow the school rules. You can't bring guns or drugs to school or on school property.”

Schools Superintendent Linda Marcolini said in a prepared statement that the district is “very distraught over the current alleged situation.”

“Each and every day, all students go through metal detectors, and vigilance is taken in searching personal belongings,” she said.

The district is cooperating with investigators, Marcolini said.

Gibson laid out the charges for each student:

• The 15-year-old is accused of drug possession and possession with intent to deliver marijuana.

• The 16-year-old is charged with possession of a weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor.

• The 17-year-old is accused of drug possession, possession of a firearm by a minor, possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of a weapon on school property.

Gibson described the guns as 9mm and .22-caliber semi-automatic weapons.

Reporter Jeremey Sellew contributed to this story. Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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.