The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 13, 2012

College student uses bathroom break to escape from drug bust

SELINSGROVE  — A pajama-clad college student who asked to make a potty break after campus public safety officers caught him in a room filled with drugs dash off away last January and has not been seen in Selinsgrove since, police said.

Susquehanna University public safety officers were alerted on Jan. 23 to a suspicious odor coming from a dorm room occupied by Joseph E. Smith, of Floral Park, N.Y., who let them in to investigate, according to a criminal complaint filed by Selinsgrove borough police.

Inside the room where Smith was the sole occupant, the officers said they detected the odor of marijuana and reported seeing the drug in an ashtray.

Smith was given permission to leave the room to use the bathroom and instead fled the area. He hasn’t been seen since, court records said.

Officers found an array of drugs, including four mason jars containing 48 grams of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, psychedelic mushrooms, prescription pills, drug paraphernalia, and $339 in cash.

Charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and numerous charges of misdemeanor drug and drug paraphernalia possession, Smith failed to appear at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing before District Judge John H. Reed. The hearing was held without him and the charges were transferred to Snyder County Court.

District Attorney Michael Piecuch said an arrest warrant has already been issued for Smith, who has no prior criminal record and is believed to be in New York.

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