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Charges withdrawn against Monessen man

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Drug charges against a Monessen man were withdrawn after another city resident took responsibility for drugs found in his home.

John Farmer Jr., 50, of 43 Aliquippa Ave., waived his right to a preliminary hearing on three counts each of possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Farmer remained in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $25,000 straight cash bond.

Darnell Howell, 42, of 128 Linden Ave., had been charged with conspiracy-possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy-use/possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charges were dismissed because Farmer claimed responsibility for the drugs, according to Monessen police.

Both men had been scheduled to face preliminary hearings Friday before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.

At the time of the incident, Monessen police Lt. James Smith, along with two probation officers, went to Howell's residence at 2:14 p.m. Nov. 5 to arrest him on a parole violation warrant, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Howell wasn't home, but one of the parole officers had information Howell was allegedly seen earlier in the day leaving a relative's residence in a gray vehicle driven by a man identified as John Farmer Jr., according to the affidavit.

Farmer told police he would send Howell out. After Howell failed to come out of the house, police forced their way in. When Howell was arrested, police said they found crack cocaine and a crack pipe on a bed.

Farmer, 50, was allegedly in possession of one stamp bag of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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