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Coach ID'd in Homestead drug bust

| Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homestead police have identified a Steel Valley Midget Football Association coach who is facing gun and drug charges in connection with a raid of his borough home.

Police Chief Jeff DeSimone identified Terrence Waddell, 26, of 314 W. Twelfth Ave., Monday morning as the suspect who jumped from a second-story window and landed on his head in an attempt to elude officers executing a search warrant on Friday.

Waddell suffered wrist, head and back injuries as a result of that attempted escape. He was transported to UPMC Presbyterian, and was transferred over the weekend to Allegheny County Jail, where he is being held on $500,000 bond, DeSimone said.

Waddell faces charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to deliver, felony weapons charges, two counts of receiving stolen property, and possibly other charges in connection with the Friday incident, police said.

DeSimone said a collaborative effort among Munhall police, Homestead police and informants led to the investigation that ended with Waddell's arrest.

Munhall and Homestead officers relayed information to their respective departments, and Homestead officers were able to track a vehicle leaving the area under surveillance Friday around 2:30 p.m., the chief said.

A traffic stop was initiated near the intersection of West Street and Eighth Avenue.

DeSimone said officers recovered three pounds of marijuana and a handgun during the traffic stop, and obtained more information about the house.

"We merely were going up to do a knock-and-talk," DeSimone said of officers going to the house. "When we approached it from the outside, there was an overwhelming pungent odor of marijuana. We heard scuffling. We heard running around. We didn't know how many people were in there."

DeSimone said officers entered the residence and located a variety of contraband items, including digital scales, approximately 10 pounds of marijuana, three fully-loaded guns including two stolen handguns and one AK-47 assault rifle, a large Ginsu knife, ammunition, in excess of $31,000 in cash and heavy packaging material for hundreds of pounds of marijuana.

"You can see how they've been wrapped with cellophane and plastic multiple, multiple times," DeSimone said of the packaging, "and taped with duct tape multiple, multiple times. If you look through this, you can see the marijuana residue through some of these bags. There are large quantities."

DeSimone said there also were vacuum-sealed bags used for transportation and eluding police searches.

"It's pretty important for us," DeSimone said. "It was an exciting arrest. (Waddell) is in the hospital for bailing out the window. What is important to us is three things. We got guns off the streets, two of which are stolen.

"Second is, we got the dope. We got a nice quantity of marijuana. We also got in excess of $31,000 in cash. So, for us, it's a trifecta. It would be one of the larger (busts) in my career. It's not up there with crack or heroin, but hey, we'll take it. We'll take these all day long if we can get them."

SVMF Vice President Juan Henderson said the association would comment about Waddell after Monday night's board meeting, noting he is "not a member of our general or executive boards."

Any statement by the group was not available at presstime.

This is not the first altercation Waddell has had with Homestead law enforcement.

Police said Waddell was arrested Oct. 16, 2007, in connection with a shots-fired incident along the 300 block of W. Twelfth Avenue.

Officers responding to the incident went to Waddell's residence at the time and detected a strong odor of marijuana.

Police said they found a large bag of marijuana, a digital scale, plastic bags and a firearm in Waddell's possession.

In May 2006, Waddell reportedly threatened to shoot his baby's mother, police said.

Waddell was a suspect in connection with an auto theft involving a pizza delivery driver along McClure Street on Dec. 3, 2001, but was not charged, police said.

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