78-year-old sex offender arrested on drug charges in Westmoreland
Dominick Spickle Jr. would spend hours in his white Honda Civic to move methamphetamine from Sacramento, Calif., to Westmoreland County, according to police.
The 2,500-mile, one-way trip gave the 78-year-old Californian a chance to see the country and allegedly bring thousands of dollars worth of the drug to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Now, the registered sex offender is behind bars on multiple drug delivery charges because the operation unraveled Thursday evening.
State police arrested Spickle, of Velma Way, for allegedly selling a trooper more than 4 ounces of methamphetamine for $11,900 in three controlled buys during the past week. Spickle is accused of selling “ice,” a pure form of the drug that can be injected, smoked or snorted, according to affidavits.
Spickle unknowingly led police to the Harrison City home of Kevin W. Nicol, 57, his alleged co-conspirator. On Thursday, police arrested Nicol there and confiscated drugs, money, a scale, 33 switchblade knives and about 130 guns.
Penn Township police Chief John Otto, who commended investigators, held a drug awareness seminar Thursday evening at the Penn-Trafford High School auditorium, not far from Nicol's 100 Johntown Court home.
“That amount of narcotics, that amount of guns, that amount of paraphernalia is troubling to me even if it was to occur in the most rural part of the township,” Otto said on Friday. “That should show people that it's here.”
“This was absolutely an astounding amount of guns,” he said.
Otto referred questions about the investigation to state police, who did not return telephone messages left on Friday.
According to affidavits, a confidential informant tipped off authorities that Spickle was selling drugs transported from Sacramento. Spickle allegedly sold a trooper methamphetamine on three occasions:
• 1⁄4 ounce for $700, in the Steak 'n Shake parking lot, Hempfield, on Sept. 20.
• 1 ounce for $2,800, in the Giant Eagle parking lot, North Huntingdon, on Sept. 21.
• 3 ounces for $8,400, again in the Giant Eagle parking lot, on Thursday.
In the last two alleged buys, undercover troopers followed Spickle to Nicol's home. Police said Spickle went inside and returned to his car before meeting troopers to exchange the drugs.
After Spickle was arrested on Thursday, Nicol gave police permission to search his home, and they confiscated the drugs and weapons, according to an affidavit.
Spickle is charged in three separate cases with six counts of possession with intent to deliver, three counts of drug possession and two counts of conspiracy. He is in the Westmoreland County Prison on three separate $25,000 bails.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled before North Huntingdon District Judge Douglas Weimer Jr. on Wednesday and before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour on Oct. 12.
Spickle is registered as a sex offender in California under Megan's Law. Information provided online by the California state police shows that he was charged in 1968 for “lewd or lascivious” acts with a child younger than 14.
Nicol is charged in two separate cases with conspiracy, two counts of possession with intent to deliver and three counts of drug possession. He is in the county prison on $500,000 and $15,000 bails.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled before Penn Township District Judge Helen Kistler on Tuesday and on Oct. 8 before Weimer.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.