The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

June 3, 2014

Trio in Montour County drug arrests waive hearings

DANVILLE — A Catawissa man pleaded guilty and two co-defendants waived their rights to preliminary hearings Monday after they were charged with drug possession.

The three — two from Catawissa and one from Danville — were arrested after their car was stopped Jan. 10 for a non-working driver’s side headlight on Route 11 near State Hospital Drive.

Douglas S. Bittner, 22, of Catawissa, pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of marijuana and to possession of drug paraphernalia. Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder placed him on probation for one year, ordered him to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and was fined $300.

Waiving their rights to hearings were Joshua V. Yeick, 21, of Catawissa, and Nolan C. Cotter, 20, of 118 L. Mulberry St.

Attorneys Laurie Pickle, Ray Kessler and Barry Lewis represented Yeick, Bittner and Cotner, respectively.

Mahoning Township Patrolman Garon Fenstermaker said he could smell a strong odor of marijuana from inside the vehicle after it was stopped.

Fenstermaker charged Yeick with possessing drug paraphernalia, possessing suspected marijuana and heroin, possessing a small amount of marijuana, not having a valid inspection and having a non-functioning headlamp.

Bittner, a passenger, was charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana, possessing a clear glass jar containing suspected marijuana and a multi-colored glass pipe.

Cotter, another passenger, was charged with possessing a clear plastic bag containing 6.96 grams of suspected marijuana.

Inside the driver’s door police found nine white waxed baggies appearing to have the bottoms ripped off. They are commonly used to store heroin and it is common for heroin users to rip the bottom portion off, police said.

Police found four additional white waxed baggies containing a white powdery substance underneath the driver’s seat. Two clear plastic bags containing marijuana were next to the four baggies, police said.

In the trunk, police found a pair of gray sweatpants with a purple Crown Royal bag with the draw strings tied. In the bag was an orange-topped needle commonly used to inject heroin. Police said the marijuana weighed 2.38 grams.

When questioned about the suspected heroin, Yeick said it was his and not the other two passengers in the vehicle, police said.

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