Monessen police nab couple on a variety of drug charges
An ongoing investigation by Monessen police led to the arrest of a city couple in their Chestnut Street home.
Officers from Monessen on Friday executed a search warrant at 444 Chestnut St., where they arrested Eric Hill and Jessica LaRose and confiscated a small amount of heroin, marijuana and various items of drug paraphernalia.
Monessen police Chief John Mandarino said Hill, 34, who resides at the Chestnut Street address, is suspected of being a low-level dealer of crack, heroin and marijuana.
He was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of receiving stolen property.
He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso and sent to Westmoreland County Prison when he was unable to post $10,000 unsecured bond.
LaRose, 22, who also resides at the Chestnut Street address, was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, four counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. She was arraigned via video Friday evening and sent to the prison when she was unablew to post $20,000 cash bond.
Police obtained the search warrant after conducting three separate drug purchases from Hill during a month-long investigation led by Lt. James Smith.
Early Friday morning, police forced entry and found Hill and Larose in a second-floor bedroom.
Officer Aaron Thompson and K-9 officer Uri searched the bedroom and found both full and empty stamp bags of suspected heroin, a video game case with several marijuana “roaches” inside, a glass pipe used for smoking marijuana, along with three digital scales and numerous hypodermic needles and other materials commonly used to package heroin.
Mandarino said Hill told police he is an addict and sells drugs to support his habit, adding he left two stamp bags of heroin for LaRose so she wouldn't get “dope sick.” LaRose later stated she was also an addict and is three months pregnant, Mandarino said.
Mandarino said the investigation was triggered by repeated complaints from neighbors about suspicious activity and people coming in and out of the residence.
“People call to complain about drug activity and think nothing gets done, but we do listen to their complaints,” Mandarino said. “This might be the first search warrant we've executed in my time as police chief, but it's the first of many to come.”
LaRose's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in front of Dalfonso, while Hill has a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 30 in front of Dalfonso.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Charleroi man accused of improper sexual contact with teen
- Problem with gas line forces evacuations in California Borough
- Charleroi woman reaches 100
- North Charleroi chase suspect ordered to stand trial
- In Monongahela Valley Hospital visit, former Steeler emphasizes value of exercise
- Woman identified in fatal Washington crash
- Charleroi faces EPA pressure for sewer work
- Charleroi Area, Clarion wrestler killed in Armstrong accident
- Children hurt in 2-vehicle crash at busy Carroll intersection
- Grindstone man allegedly tried to meet teen, 13, for sex
- Monongahela man charged in assault of disabled father with antlers