The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 24, 2013

Guard accused of supplying contraband

SOMERSET — A state prison guard has been charged with supplying drugs, pornographic materials and other contraband to inmates at SCI-Somerset.

Donald M. Lynch, 35, of Fort Loudon, Franklin County, faces three counts of supplying contraband and one count of using a cellphone for criminal activity.

All four  charges are felonies.

State Corrections Department agents said Lynch encouraged prisoners to contact friends and family to ask them to purchase drugs and other  banned items, and then contact Lynch.

Lynch would make arrangements to pick up the items and bring them to inmates named Michael Farrell and Thomas Thompson, who passed them to other prisoners, according to the criminal complaint.

Family members paid Lynch with prepaid debit cards or by making deposits in a PayPal account he established under a false name, investigators said.

Authorities were alerted when Lynch’s wife accidentally intercepted one of the deliveries and became suspicious. Court papers say Lynch told her he was “working for the security department.” The package containing small bottles of oil, a prepaid card and a number of tennis balls and plastic golf balls was part of an investigation, he allegedly told his wife.

Contraband items being smuggled included “Muslim oils,” the agents reported.

Investigators searched Lynch’s car and found numerous notes addressed to “Boss Man” that appeared to relate to the smuggling operation. An examination of a disposable cellphone also yielded suspicious text messages and calls to inmates’ known contacts and family, the court papers say.

Several inmates and family members admitted taking part in the smuggling, authorities said.

Lynch was arraigned Tuesday in the Somerset courtroom of District Judge Kenneth Johnson. He was released on $40,000 unsecured bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for noon on May 7 in Johnson’s court.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 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
House Ads