Many face variety of charges in Lycoming County

Eight face variety of drug charges

In Joshua Butler’s hands were 23 bags of suspected fentanyl, all stamped “New High Score Ultimate Level,” according to court records. In exchange for $130, the 21-year-old Philadelphia man handed the drugs over to an undercover officer near Seventh and Park avenues in the city last April 17

The county’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit (NEU) has charged Butler with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and illegal use of a cellphone, both felonies. He was jailed at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail following his arraignment before District Judge Christian Frey.

In another case, Mark Walker Jr., 30, of 765 W. Third St., apartment 3, has been charged by NEU with allegedly selling 10 bags of heroin to a confidential informant for $100 on Oct. 14, according to court records. Walker also sold 12 bags of heroin to an informant for $100 on Oct. 27, investigators said. Both allege sales occurred at Walker’s apartment, investigators said.

Following his arraignment by Frey, Walker was released on $25,000 bail.

Another alleged drug dealer, Taylor Kanski, 26, of 418 S. Main St., Jersey Shore, faces charges for allegedly selling 2.69 grams of suspected bath salts to an informant at Kanski’s home on Dec. 15, according to court papers filed by NEU. The next day, Kanski had a gram of bath salts in his possession, investigators said.

Charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and related offenses, Kanski was jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail and a probation violation.

Also facing drug charges was Yusuf Nixon, 19, of 519 W. Fourth St., who allegedly had in his possession multiple pills of ecstasy as well as two ounces of codeine syrup at an undisclosed location in the city on Jan 11, according to city police. Charged with possession with intent to deliver codeine syrup and possession of ecstasy, Nixon is free on $25,000 bail.

One day after Lawrence Eugene Gaines III allegedly sold a marijuana bag and a marijuana cartridge to an informant on March 11, NEU members executed a search warrant at his home 229 Nelson St. in Jersey Shore and seized eight ounces of marijuana, 14.76 additional grams of the controlled substance, five grams of psilocybin (a hallucinogenic drug) and five suboxone pills, according to court records filed at the office of District Judge Jerry C. Lepley.

Following his recent arraignment on a charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and related offenses, Gaines was jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

In another case, Jamal Bennett’s alleged involvement in two drug sales eight days apart two years ago landed the 44-year-old man behind bars, according to city police.

Bennett, of 836 High St., who goes by the street name “Mal,” is accused of selling 2.2 grams of cocaine to an informant in the 700 block of West Edwin Street in early August 2019, police said. Days later, Bennett sold to an informant more cocaine plus Pez candy coated with the drug flualprazolam, a tranquilizer, police said.

The allege sales occurred at an undisclosed location in the city. Arraigned before Frey on charges of possession with intent to deliver controlled substances and related offenses, Bennett, who refused to answer any questions during the proceedings, was jailed in lieu of $125,000 bail.

Gregory Hughes, 36, of Lock Haven, has been charged by state police with possession of marijuana at First and Memorial avenues in the city on Sept. 30. He has been sent a summons to appear before Frey.

Another Lock Haven resident, James Smeal Jr., 26, has been charged by Tiadaghton Valley Regional police with possession of a controlled substance (1.54 grams of Eutylone — a stimulant drug found in bath salts) and possession of drug paraphernalia in the 200 block of South Main Street in Jersey Shore about 2:50 a.m. on Aug. 19, according to court records. He is free on $7,500 bail.

Second arrest made in railroad vandalism

Brian James Murray, 43, of 460 Susquehanna Drive, Jersey Shore, waived his preliminary hearing on felony and misdemeanor charges that were filed after he removed $350 worth of copper wire from railroad tracks belonging to North Shore Railroad in the 300 block of Cement Drive in Porter Township sometime in mid-January, Tiadaghton Valley Regional police alleged in court papers.

The theft resulted in $3,000 damage to railroad property, police said, adding that the crime “could have resulted in a train derailment.” Arraigned before Lepley on charges of causing or risking a catastrophe, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of an instrument of crime and railroad vandalism, Murray is free on $15,000 bail.

Co-defendant Jennifer Dawes, 45, of 37 Myers Road, Jersey Shore, was charged last month and is free on bail after waiving her preliminary hearing.

City resident faces prostitution charge

Erin Dobbs, 37, of 631 Campbell St., has been charged by state police with prostitution for allegedly offering an undercover officer to perform a sexual act in exchange for cash at Park Avenue and Campbell Street in the city on Jan. 18, according to court records. She has been sent a summons to appear before Frey.

Convicted sex offender faces new charge

Convicted child sex offender Willie Merritt, 33, has been charged by the Tiadaghton Valley Regional police with failure to register his new address with the state police. Although he carried an official Northumberland address, he had been staying on-and-off at 427 S. Main St. in Jersey Shore from at least late December to late February, police said.

Police said Merritt also failed to appear on Feb. 23 for sentencing in another criminal case, prompting Lycoming County courtly officials to file a bench warrant for his arrest. Arraigned before Lepley, Merritt is jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Man charged with rape

Following a preliminary hearing, Shoal Sheddy Flanigan, 21, of 18 Water St., Salladasburg, was held for court on all charges for allegedly raping a teenage female acquaintance in Mifflin Township in mid-November, according to court papers filed by state police.

Sheddy Flanigan will face further court action on charges of rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault. He was jailed in lieu of $90,000 bail.

Woman surrenders to face charges

Mackenzie Dugan, 23, of Renovo, turned herself in at Lepley’s office Monday morning to be arraigned on charges of allegedly engaging in “multiple sexual acts” with a teenage male minor during the summer of 2019, according to state police. The alleged incidents occurred in Woodward Township (Lycoming County), police said.

Charged with indecent assault, indecent exposure, statutory sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor, Dugan was released on $50,000 bail set by Lepley.


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