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Ex-Monongahela police officer reports to jail

| Friday, Jan. 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Former Monongahela police officer George Langan has begun a jail term expected to span through 2011.

Langan, who reported to jail Monday, becomes the first former police officer in at least a quarter century to serve an entire jail term at the Washington County prison.

Warden Joe Pelzer said in his 27 years of service, only two other former police officers have served some time at the Washington County Correctional Facility.

Scott Carroll had been serving with the Charleroi police department when he was convicted on prescription drug-related charges a decade ago.

Former Fallowfield Township Capt. Allen Pettit was convicted in 2009 of stealing drugs from the department's evidence room.

Langan, 45, of 227 Union St., Monongahela, pleaded guilty Nov. 8 in Washington County Court to criminal use of a communications facility, for which he was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail. The county jail's records list Langan's projected release date as Dec. 17.

He also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, hindering apprehension and official oppression, for which was sentenced to five years probation.

Langan had been scheduled to go on trial the day he entered the pleas.

Through the deal, Langan avoided possible conviction on various drug-related charges, including possession of a controlled substance (suspected cocaine), delivery of a controlled substance (suspected cocaine), criminal conspiracy, corrupt organization, witness intimidation, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Langan was also ordered to surrender his Municipal Police Officers' Education & Training Commission card. He will never again serve as a police officer. He must pay restitution to the drug task force for costs related to the case, estimated at $6,000.

Langan was arrested while on duty Sept. 4, 2009. His arrest resulted from the first presentment by the grand jury convened in May 2009.

The first grand jury in three decades in the county implicated Langan as an important figure in Monongahela's cocaine trade, asserting he protected drug dealers by alerting them to searches and arrests and by revealing information about police drug investigations.

The indictment alleged Langan distributed cocaine as a partner in a drug dealing organization.

Langan was targeted by the grand jury in June 2009 after Drug Task Force detectives suspected several narcotics investigations had been compromised by "tip-offs" Langan made to suspects.

Langan was a full-time Monongahela officer for 18 years. He had worked part time for the Fallowfield Township police department in the months before his arrest.

He began working this week at JAK Productions in Washington. Pelzer said that when Langan reported to the jail, he was working for a temporary employment agency.

Jail regulations do not permit inmates in the work release program to be employed such companies because it is too hard for corrections officials to track the convicts.

Langan is being house in the alternative housing unit at the facility in part because he is a work release inmate.

Pelzer said that if Langan was being housed with the general population, it could create security concerns. He said corrections officials are responsible for the care, custody and control of each inmate.

There are 43 prisoners in the "minimum security" alternative housing unit that includes prisoners in the work release program, those who must serve time on weekends and those in the Furlough Into Service program, Pelzer said.

The county lock-up was housing 360 prisoners when Langan arrived, Pelzer said. Maximum capacity is 389 inmates.

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