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Drug search yields two arrests in Monessen

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Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Suspected heroin and cocaine were seized Wednesday at a Monessen residence where two men were arrested and three young children were staying.

Arthur Otto Simpson, 46, and Torrance “Torey” Taylor, 23, were arrested after Monessen police and agents from the state Attorney General's Office executed a search warrant 10 a.m. at 631 Summit Ave.

Police said they confiscated 250 stamp bags of heroin, two ounces of cocaine and approximately $2,000. A handgun registered to Taylor was found near the heroin, police said.

Police said some of the drugs were underneath beds and were “easily accessible” to the children in the house. The children, age 4 and younger, were released to relatives Wednesday afternoon, Monessen police Chief John Mandarino said.

Taylor was sleeping in an upstairs room and Simpson was seated in a downstairs recliner when police arrived.

The warrant resulted from a cooperative investigation involving the state and Monessen, Ligonier, Johnstown and North Versailles police.

Officers from those departments assisted in Wednesday's search.

Simpson and Taylor each face two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of children and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Monessen police Lt. James Smith filed the charges.

Taylor and Simpson were arraigned at 3 p.m. by Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen. Both were placed in the Westmoreland County Prison – Taylor in lieu of $25,000 cash bond and Simpson in lieu of $50,000 cash bond.

Simpson is awaiting trial Sept. 18 in the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas on drug and gun charges stemming from an April arrest by state police.

Mandarino said Simpson will be placed on detainer by the district attorney's office for violating the previous bond terms. Subsequent bail will be denied, he predicted.

Police said the arrests are part of an ongoing drug investigation.

“We'd like to thank the Attorney General's office and other agencies for helping with what has become a very serious problem in our town,” Mandarino said. “We look forward to their continued cooperation.”

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

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