Scottdale traffic stop ends in drug, gun charges
Four people were arrested and charged with drug and weapon violations after a traffic stop in Scottdale over the weekend.
Celestine Thomas, 46, and Ondaryle Smith, both of Scottdale; Jamie Rayques Espy, 25, of Jeannette; and Kera Foley, 36, of Greensburg were arraigned on various drug and weapons charges at District Judge Charles Moore's office.
The charges stem from an incident at 1:52 a.m. Sunday when a Scottdale police officer on patrol pulled a vehicle over. When he approached the vehicle, the driver, identified as Thomas, opened the door. At the time, the officer reportedly smelled the odor of burnt marijuana.
Espy, the vehicle's passenger, was allegedly in possession of a loaded, unregistered handgun and approximately 18.2 grams of suspected marijuana.
Police asked permission to search the vehicle and found a scale with suspected cocaine and a large amount of money in small bills.
A warrant was obtained to search Thomas' residence. There, police reportedly found another weapon, a safe with a 20-gram rock that tested positive for cocaine, pill bottles with other controlled substances and another small crack rock.
While searching the house in Scottdale, police found Ondaryle Smith, who was under house arrest for an unrelated incident. They searched Smith's room and found a small amount of marijuana and a handgun in a shoe in the middle of the floor in the room where his child and another child were living, authorities said.
Upon questioning Smith's girlfriend, Kera Foley, she allegedly said Smith had texted her on Friday and asked her to bring him the gun.
Police obtained a search warrant for Foley's address. There, they found a white, powdery substance along with several controlled substances in a purse where juvenile children had access.
Thomas was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence, a violation of vehicle equipment standards, possession with the intent to deliver and prohibited possession of a firearm.
Espy was charged with possession of a firearm without a license and possession of a small amount of a controlled substance.
Smith was charged with possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana and recklessly endangering another person.
Foley was charged with possessing a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia, recklessly endangering another person and manufacturing or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Preliminary hearings have been scheduled for the four for July 17 before Moore.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 17 at noon for Espy, 12:15 p.m. for Thomas and 12:45 p.m. for Foley and Smith.
Placed in the Westmoreland County Prison were Foley on $5,000 bond, Thomas on $25,000 bond and Smith on $50,000 bond. Espy is free on $10,000 bond.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.