The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 14, 2014

Adams couple’s charges sent to new judge

EBENSBURG — The case against an Adams Township couple is being shifted to a different district judge after the charges were dismissed last week by District Judge Rick Varver of Sidman.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan has agreed to allow the Johnstown Police Department and the state attorney general’s drug task force to refile drug-related charges against Dennis and Roseann Ricks.

Callihan also, through a petition, asked President Judge Timothy Creany to name a different district judge where the charges can be filed and a second preliminary hearing held.

That order came down Tuesday. Creany ordered that Ebensburg District Judge Fred Creany preside over the case.

Also on Tuesday, the charges dismissed by Varner on Jan. 6, were refiled at Creany’s office and related charges filed at the office of Johnstown District Justice Michael Musulin.

The Ricks, of the 500 block of Beaver Run Avenue, Sidman,  were charged in late November by city police and an agent from the attorney general’s office with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and receiving stolen property.

Seized were guns and $4,500 worth of heroin. In a criminal complaint, authorities said they found 300 stamp bags of heroin, a .45-caliber Manchester Arms Thompson submachine gun and a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.

Dennis Ricks, a convicted felon, was also charged with illegally possessing a firearm.

The arrests were based on a search warrant giving authorities the right to enter the home, and it was that search warrant that proved to be a significant snag when police and the county district attorney’s office showed up for the preliminary hearing early last week at Varner’s office.

Patricia Moore of the Cambria County public defender’s office objected to a number of what she viewed as problems with the case, including the lack of the search warrant, which had been sealed under court order.

The state attorney general’s office had recently become involved in the illegal drug battle in the county, and the Ricks’ preliminary was the first case that went to a full hearing, Callihan said.

Because the search warrant was sealed, it was not made available to the prosecution.

“The seal had not expired and it prevented us from using it,” she said.

Without the search warrant, Varner found the prosecution failed to show a prima facia case.

Callihan said she and members of her staff have discussed the case with the state.

“We’re working with this task force to make sure our procedures are in line,” she said.

The Ricks remain in the Cambria County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ kathymellotttd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • No Lion: 3 busted for nude photo at Penn State shrine

    Penn State police say three male students who reportedly posed nude for a photo at the university’s Nittany Lion Shrine face school discipline.

    April 18, 2014

  • 5 things to know for Friday in Pennsylvania

    A look at late-breaking news, coming events and stories that will be talked about in Pennsylvania on Friday:

    April 18, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads