Accused border smuggler Valley man
When he was arrested along the Mexico-U.S. border in California Jan. 15, it wasn't the first time James Perry III allegedly asked a woman to stash drugs for him.
Perry, 44, a Belle Vernon resident, is scheduled for a May 5 trial in Westmoreland County Court on charges related to a summer 2011 case in which he allegedly supplied Kimberly Ann Kibelbek, 47, of 916 Brown St., North Belle Vernon, with heroin in exchange for using her 423 Third St., Monessen, residence to stash the drug.
At the time of his arrest in the Westmoreland case, he lived in Fayette City.
In the California case, Perry and Samantha Rose Kurdilla, 22, of 1043 Broad Ave., North Belle Vernon, were detained by federal authorities after she allegedly attempted to smuggle cocaine in her vaginal cavity.
Kurdilla and Perry are charged with unlawful importation of a controlled substance.
Kurdilla is being held in lieu of $30,000 bond at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.
A 2008 Belle Vernon Area High School graduate, Kurdilla faces a Feb. 15 preliminary hearing before Judge Barbara L. Major, federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Perry is being held without bail, because the government labeled him as a flight risk. His preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 31.
Perry was charged July 21, 2011, by Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office with three counts of conspiracy-manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and four counts of possession with intent to deliver or manufacture.
Kibelbek was charged the same day with three counts each of conspiracy-manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver or manufacture, and possession of a controlled substance; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
The 2011 criminal complaint alleges Kibelbek told police she took “five to eight” trips to New York City with Perry in 2010 to buy heroin. Kibelbek told police she “tested heroin” and hid it on the ride home from New York.
Perry told police he bought heroin in New York's Harlem neighborhood, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Perry said his last trip to Harlem was in January 2011, at which time he was accompanied by Kibelbek.
The affidavit states that Perry said he had a local source in Pittsburgh, from whom he bought heroin four to five times a year.
Police said that while arresting Perry, they found a key in his possession that opened a safe in the Monessen house.
The safe contained 37.4 grams of heroin; 21.6 grams of crack cocaine; and 8.2 grams of cocaine.
Kibelbek pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced Jan 4 to three to six years in prison. She received credit for time already served. As of presstime Friday, she remained in the Westmoreland County Prison.
Perry was released after posting $75,000 bond.
On the border
At midnight on Jan. 15, a Customs and Border Protection canine officer at the San Ysidro port of entry pedestrian crossing detected an odor from Kurdilla's groin area, according to a probable cause statement filed in the U.S. District Court in San Diego.
Kurdilla allegedly told authorities she was going to the Best Western Hotel in San Diego and that she had been partying with Perry.
Perry ultimately admitted he and Kurdilla had been smoking marijuana in Mexico, according to the probable cause statement.
It was later determined Kurdilla had a condom filled with a white powdery substance in her vaginal cavity. A field test revealed the substance was cocaine, according to the probable cause statement.
Kurdilla eventually admitted to authorities she was smuggling drugs into the U.S. “in exchange for compensation.”
She told authorities the drugs were given to her by Perry, the affidavit stated.
Perry allegedly admitted he was smuggling the drugs, which he bought in Tijuana, Mexico, and that he told Kurdilla to conceal the drugs.
A search of Kurdilla's cellular telephone revealed text messages sent to an unknown person indicating she was, “smuggling cocaine and heroin” inside her body.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
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.
- Woman agrees to testify against boyfriend in Charleroi knife fray
- Architect seeks money for work on Charleroi theater project
- Ringgold School Board bans book in haste
- Timing right for firefighter to get woman, 84, out of burning house
- Donora seems ready to sue over school sale
- Ringgold to seek state’s help funding new school building
- Dirt bike racer will compete in Tennessee
- Readers retain fond memories of people, places
- Land bank considered in Washington County
- South Huntingdon girl, 15, heading to college early
- California police: Suspect shielded self with infant during arrest