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Donora man faces many drug charges

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:06 a.m.
Johnathan Minnie

A Donora man faces numerous drug charges in the wake of a house search that left a Monessen police officer injured.

Johnathan Minnie, 25, of 470 Seventh St., Apt. B, was accused Tuesday by Donora police of throwing 189 stamp bags of suspected heroin out of a second-floor window at his former residence.

Donora police said they were asked by Monessen police 4:05 p.m. June 2 to find Minnie and tell him to go to the Monessen police station for questioning.

Officer Michael Parry said he went to the address Minnie filed with the Washington County Adult Probation office, but found the residence to be vacant, according to a criminal complaint.

Police then went to Minnie's last known address at 418 Weiss Ave., Donora, where Tyler Hall answered the door. Hall allegedly said Minnie had been there a few hours earlier.

Police said they noticed a “strong odor” of marijuana from inside the residence.

Police left, but were told soon after that Minnie was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by a Washington County sheriff's deputy.

During the traffic stop, Minnie allegedly called Hall's mother, Rosalee Hudock, and was subsequently told to go to the Monessen police station, the complaint states.

Instead of doing that, Minnie allegedly went to the 418 Weiss Ave. residence.

Donora police secured the Weiss Avenue house as they sought a search warrant from Washington Magisterial District Judge Robert Redlinger.

During that time, Minnie and Hall, who are both on probation, were placed in the back of a patrol car, police said.

With the assistance of Monessen police Officer Aaron Thompson and K-9 Officer Uri, investigators found a bundle of suspected heroin labeled “Tuna Fish” in an attic crawl space.

While searching, Thompson fell through the attic floor and hit his lower back off of a beam, suffering fractures to two vertebrae. He remains off the job.

Hudock allegedly told investigators she saw Minnie coming down from the attic before police arrived.

When she asked Minnie if there were narcotics in her residence, Minnie allegedly replied, “No, Miss Rose, I threw them out,” the complaint states.

Parry said police found a yellow plastic bag on the ground directly below an open, top-floor window. The bag allegedly contained four bricks of suspected heroin. The stamp bags were labeled “Galaxy 5,” police said.

After questioning Minnie for an hour, he was released.

On Tuesday, Minnie was charged with 189 counts of possession of a controlled substance and single counts of manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance, hindering apprehension-conceals/destroys evidence, and obstructing administration of law.

Parry filed the charges with Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela.

During his arrest Tuesday, Minnie allegedly asked Donora police Officer Joshua Haines to secure Minnie's property at his Seventh Street apartment.

Minnie's live-in girlfriend, Julia Hall, allegedly gave police permission to search the apartment.

She accompanied police to the apartment, where officers allegedly found one brick – or 50 stamp bags – of suspected heroin wrapped in magazine paper. Officers also allegedly found 14 stamp bags marked “Miami Heat” in a dresser drawer.

Police said they found additional magazine paper, commonly used to package heroin, in the pocket of a shirt in a closet, the complaint states.

Haines charged Minnie with additional counts of manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance and 64 counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Minnie was arrested Tuesday in Donora on a warrant related to a separate incident last week in Monessen. Following his arrest, police allegedly found more suspected heroin at his current residence.

Minnie was taken to the Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield Township on a warrant for two incidents June 8 in Monessen.

Monessen police charged him with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief after being called to a large fight in the Rite-Aid parking lot around 1:30 a.m.

Jorge Frezzell told police someone threw a cinder block through the windshield of his parked car parked on nearby Schoonmaker Avenue. Police said Samone Stepoli claimed she saw Minnie throw a cinder block through Frezzell's windshield before breaking the passenger side window, police said.

Stepoli also told officers someone stole her iPhone and the keys to her Cadillac Escalade.

A GPS search on the phone located the vehicle in Donora, where police allegedly found the keys and iPhone at Minnie's residence.

Donora police Superintendent James Brice said that if Minnie posts bond on the Monessen charges, Minnie will “go straight” to the Washington County Correctional Facility on a detainer.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at