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Another set of drug charges for Charleroi couple

| Saturday, May 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Charleroi couple is facing drug charges for the second time this week following a traffic stop in Donora.

Michelle Griest, 31, and Michael A. Smith, 28, both of 210 Ninth St.,were arrested 2:14 p.m. Thursday after Donora police allegedly found 50 stamp bags of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia in a vehicle in which they were passengers.

Officer Michael Parry stopped a Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Shelly Lawson in the 400 block of Sixth Street. Griest was sitting in the front and Smith was in the back, according to a criminal complaint.

After Lawson gave Parry permission to search the car, he allegedly found two hypodermic needles in Smith's side cargo pocket, a wire that was purportedly tied up for use as a tourniquet and a Q-tip commonly used prior to injecting narcotics, the complaint states.

While Parry was placing Smith in handcuffs, Griest allegedly motioned for him to come to the car window. Griest allegedly told Parry she was working as an informant for a Charleroi police officer, claiming she had just bought heroin.

Parry allegedly found two bundles (20 stamp bags) of suspected heroin in Griest's wallet labeled “Magoo” and three bundles (30 stamp bags) labeled “Diesel,” “Fuel,” “No Game and “Magoo” in her purse.

He allegedly found two small rubber bands and $80 in Griest's purse.

Griest allegedly “insisted that she was making controlled buys,” but Parry stated that he “explained to her that it's not possible given the circumstances surrounding her arrest and activities,” the report states.

Griest was charged with a felony count of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Smith was charged with three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Smith faces a preliminary hearing 2 p.m. May 29 before Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela. A hearing date for Griest was not available late Friday.

Lawson was not charged.

Prior arrests

The couple faces drug charges stemming from an April 25 incident in Charleroi.

Griest and Smith were charged this week by Charleroi Regional Police who were called to 601 Fallowfield Ave., Apt., 1, for a noise complaint.

In that case, Officer Mike Leasure found a blue makeup bag that contained several needles and empty stamp bags, the complaint states. Griest reportedly told police the bag belonged to her and Smith.

Griest was charged with six counts of possession of drug paraphernalia in that case, while Smith was charged with three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Each faces a preliminary hearing for the Charleroi charges 9 a.m. May 29 before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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