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Alleged marijuana operation uncovered

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:41 a.m.
WPXI
Authorities said Steve Powell, pictured, and his brother Jesse were arrested inside a 2nd Street home in California, Pa., on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Investigators said the brothers, who are from Baldwin, operated a large marijuana operation out of a house where several other hockey players also lived.

Police arrested two California University of Pennsylvania hockey players and seized nearly nine pounds of marijuana Tuesday during a drug bust at their off-campus house.

State police said Steve Powell, 23, and his brother Jesse, 18, – both of Baldwin – had been operating a large marijuana operation out of the house at 256 Second St., where several other hockey players also lived.

Police said a parcel containing approximately seven pounds of marijuana was delivered to the house Monday.

Following an investigation, a state police drug interdiction unit executed a search warrant Tuesday and found the Powell brothers, additional marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $13,000 cash inside.

According to WPXI-TV, news partner of The Valley Independent, the marijuana was being shipped to the house from the state of California and the suspects were selling it.

“I've seen people pulling in and out of the house at all hours of the night. I figured something would happen and I'm glad it did,” neighbor Shawna Schultu told WPXI.

The Powells were both charged with possession of a controlled substance, manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

They were arraigned via video before being relased after each posting $25,000 unsecured bond.

Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for 2 p.m. April 25 in front of Magisterial District Judge Jay Weller.

Christine Kindl, director of communications at Cal U, said the house is not owned by the university.

Unlike other sports, hockey is a club sport and is not funded by the university. Any funding comes through the university's Student Association, as it does for other campus clubs and organizations, Kindl said.

Kindl said because the suspects are students, the situation also will be addressed through the university's disciplinary process.

“Like all Cal U students, athletes who are involved in club sports are expected to abide by our Student Code of Conduct,” Kindl said.

“Each case is handled individually. Sanctions for violating the Student Code of Conduct can range from a disciplinary warning through suspension or even dismissal from the University.”

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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