DANVILLE — An off-duty Valley patrolmen spotted a fugitive outside the Penn Motel, and within hours Tuesday, police had busted a meth lab and confiscated 60 bags of heroin, a loaded 25-round, .22-caliber magazine for an AR-15 rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and cash from two rooms inside the Cooper Township building.
Ashley Malakoskie and Justin Cressinger, who list their address as Room 17 of the motel, were jailed and face charges related to probation violations.
Three people from Room 4 — Megan Defrain, of Bloomsburg; Sarah Long, of Room 4 at the motel; and Donovan M. Curtis, of Philadelphia — were jailed on drug or other charges.
Tuesday’s bust of a meth lab is the third in Montour County in a year, following others in Danville and in Derry Township.
“This investigation underscores the fact that the county is in the grip of a meth and heroin epidemic,” Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren said.
Heroin found in toilet
Two other suspects, whom authorities would not identify pending charges, were cooking 5 to 10 grams of meth, if not more, said Ray Gerringer, Northumberland-Montour Drug Task Force field supervisor. A gram of meth sells for $40 to $60. Police say those two suspects were using a one-pot can method, that can yield sales of $800 to $1,000.
Confiscated from a toilet in Room 4 were 60 bags of heroin — one bag, in the Danville area, sells for $20 to $40, Gerringer said.
The raid started after off-duty Mahoning Township Patrolman Garon Fenstermacher recognized Defrain, who was wanted on felony warrants for illegal use of a debit card in Montour County, standing outside Room 4 on Tuesday afternoon.
Where’s beau? Don’t know
After apprehending Defrain, Mahoning Township Police Chief Robert Blee and Sgt. Chris Prescott knocked on the door of Room 4. Defrain’s sister, Long, answered and was also taken into custody. When asked, Long said she was not sure of the whereabouts of her boyfriend, Curtis.
Michael Albert, who was leaving the room, told police Curtis was in Room 4.
Police received permission to sweep Room 4, saw a black handgun, drug paraphernalia, two pellet guns, numerous cell phones, just under $1,400 in cash, syringes and empty heroin packets. They also found that Curtis had fled through a bathroom window.