Two in meth bust charged
Two Warren County men arrested on a federal warrant for possession of a large amount of methamphetamine now face charges in county courts.
Bradley James McCaslin, 29, 1962 Yankee Bush Road, Apt. 1, and Thomas J. Valentine, 29, 20 Schumann Road were charged Monday night be the Conewango Township Police Department after they were arrested on the federal warrant earlier in the day.
McCaslin was charged with possession with intent to deliver, DUI: Controlled substance/impaired ability – first offense; DUI: Controlled substance/Schedule II or III – second offense, fail to use safety belt, improper stop and violate hazard regulations.
Valentine faces two counts each of possession with intent to deliver and criminal use of a communications facility.
Both were arraigned by Forest County District Justice Daniel Miller on Monday night – McCaslin at 8:45 p.m. and Valentine at 9 p.m. Both men were subsequently placed in the Warren County Jail after they were unable to post bail which was set at $20,000 for Valentine and $25,000 for McCaslin.
The charges stem from offenses earlier this year, as early as July.
Police allege that Valentine contacted a confidential informant back in October.
“Arrangements were made with Valentine to purchase 14 grams of methamphetamine for $185,” according to the affidavit of probable cause. “CI was provided $185 in pre-recorded Commonwealth funds to transfer to Valentine to make the purchase from the ‘Dark Web.'”
The “Dark Web” is encrypted online content that is not searchable through the typical browser.
Police report that “Valentine had received the shipment” on Nov. 4 and a CI went to Valentine’s Schumann Road residence shortly after 2 p.m. for the sale. The CI met with investigators who “observed the purchased evidence in a clear plastic bag which appeared consistent with methamphetamine” totaling 9 grams.
A similar arrangement was set up on Nov. 27 when a CI was given $275 to Valentine for an additional dark web purchase of 28 grams of methamphetamine with the sale occurring on Dec. 3, per the affidavit, which states that 24 grams were purchased.
McCaslin was contacted by police on July 30 at about 2:15 a.m., according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Police allege that his vehicle was observed in the northbound lane of Yankee Bush Road without headlights, taillights, hazard signals with a driver to “was sleeping soundly.”
Police say the operator, subsequently identified as McCaslin, “appeared lethargic and confused” and “had difficulty locating the handle to the door” of the vehicle.
McCaslin was “unsteady on his feet, lethargic” and his eyes appeared “to be reddened and glassy” and didn’t know where he was. “McCaslin was patted down and a pill bottle with no markings and a culinary skewer was located in his front right pocket.”
Police allege that he performed “a series of failed sobriety tests” and lab results indicated that he was under the influence and further note that “inside the unmarked pill bottle I observed what I believe to be methamphetamine in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.”
That methamphetamine totaled 3.5 grams.
“Also located in the pill bottle were 1055 pills stamped XANAX,” the affidavit states. “(Police) observed a zip-loc bag on the center console area of the vehicle that contained pills. This bag contained 431 pills stamped XANAX.”
McCaslin advised police that he “had taken two xanax this date. He also reported using methamphetamine daily and ingests it orally.”
According to the affidavit, a search warrant was conducted on the vehicle which revealed what was believed to be another 23 grams of methamphetamine.
Paraphernalia was also discovered in the vehicle.
Preliminary hearings in both cases were set for Dec. 31.