Cops: Ligonier drug bust leads to second arrest for burglaries | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Cops: Ligonier drug bust leads to second arrest for burglaries

Paul Peirce
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Undercover police officers watching a Ligonier apartment after complaints of suspected drug activity not only arrested a resident for allegedly selling Suboxone, but also solved two weekend break-ins.

The resident, Hunter M. Fitchko, 26, was arrested inside his apartment on the 200 block of East Church Street by Ligonier Valley Police on drug charges.

Officer James Friscarella reported that police obtained a search warrant and were watching the apartment Saturday evening after receiving complaints about “numerous people stopping all hours of the night and only staying for several minutes.”

Friscarella said police stopped a woman leaving Fitchko’s apartment who reported she had just purchased numerous Suboxone strips, used to treat opioid addiction and acute and chronic pain.

Friscarella reportedthat once inside Fitchko’s apartment, police discovered multiple items including gift cards, business cards and rolled change that were reported taken during a burglary at Kingfisher Coffee on East Main Street between Friday and Saturday. Also found was a gray lockbox, hair clippers and a pen reportedly taken from Diamond Hair Cut, another business that was burglarized.

According to police reports, Fitchko denied burglarizing the businesses, but told investigators that a Washington County man, Joseph “Tristan” Minno, 34, who had been staying at his apartment, had told him “he had gained entry to multiple stores around Ligonier.”

Police later located Minno, who was charged with burglary and related offenses. Both men were arraigned Sunday and released on $5,000 unsecured bond pending preliminary hearings.

Neither Fitchko or Minno could be reached for comment and neither had attorneys listed in court documents.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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