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Jeannette police find drugs in home while trying to serve warrant in sex case

Jeannette police found a cache of weapons and marijuana in the search for a suspect wanted on a warrant in an unrelated case of sexual assault.

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

When Jeannette police went in search of a city man wanted on a felony warrant, they ended up arresting two suspects in two different cases.

“We ended up nailing two ... at once,” Patrolman Justin Scalzo said.

City police visited a home on Patton Avenue in search of Gerald Wayne Kirk, 26, about 8 p.m. on a felony warrant in connection with sex offense charges, Scalzo said. They learned that he might be at another city home on North Fifth Street, Scalzo said.

There, a man said Kirk was tipped off that police were looking for him, and he had left, Scalzo said.

Scalzo noticed an odor of marijuana emanating from the North Fifth Street home, and he called Penn Township officers to assist.

“I could smell an overwhelming amount of marijuana,” Scalzo said. “Because I could smell an odor of burning marijuana, it's enough evidence to apply for a search warrant.”

A resident there, Jordan Mark Haynes-Smith, 21, gave police consent to search the home, according to a criminal complaint. He told officers they would find marijuana and two firearms in the house, one of which he knew was stolen, the complaint says.

Scalzo said police “found a large amount of loose marijuana,” plus six small plastic bags of marijuana packaged for sale on the street.

The weight of drugs, he said, has not been determined.

Police recovered two scales, two firearms — a 9 mm Taurus semi-automatic handgun and a Ruger .45-caliber handgun that had been reported stolen in Jeannette, the complaint alleges. Haynes-Smith was arrested and charged with drug possession; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and receiving stolen property. He is in Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bond.

As police prepared to search the Jeannette residence, Kirk showed up and police arrested him, Scalzo said.

Kirk faces charges of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and furnishing liquor to a minor. In a criminal complaint, police allege Kirk engaged in sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl.

He's in the county prison in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Both men face preliminary hearings July 18 before Jeannette District Judge Joseph R. DeMarchis.

Greensburg attorney Brian D. Aston, who is listed in court records as counsel for Haynes-Smith, could not be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.

Court records do not list an attorney for Kirk.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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