The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

June 16, 2014

Drugs fuel rise in Montour County Court cases

DANVILLE — The number of criminal cases rose by 26 so far this year compared with the same time period last year.

A total of 107 criminal cases were filed in the office of Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder from Jan. 1 through April 30.

During that same time period, there were 81 criminal cases filed last year.

The 2012 total from those months is 121.

The 2011 count of criminal cases from Jan. 1 through April 30 was 70, according to Shrawder.

His office didn’t have a breakdown on the types of cases which include misdemeanors and felonies.

Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren said, “If you look at the people committing these crimes and the types of crimes being committed, a great number are related to drugs.”

An example is suspects who break into a number of cars seeking money and small items that can be sold.

“A lot of times they are looking for loose change. A bag of heroin can be purchased for $6. If they clean out an ashtray of the change, that change could come close to $6,” she said.

She said police see sprees generally associated with drug addicts who are trying to obtain money to buy drugs.

The county also has its share of assault cases at North Central Secure Treatment Unit and at Danville State Hospital, according to Warren.

“We are seeing more drug diversion cases involving medical professionals stealing drugs from nursing homes and hospitals,” she said.

“They are using more sophisticated means to secure narcotics,” she said.

 Suspects also have been charged with operating methamphetamine labs “because of the ease of manufacturing that drug and the ease of securing materials to make meth,” she said.

And methamphetamine has come to Montour County.

Meth lab arrests in the past two years include a woman in an apartment near a Danville school, a woman in Derry Township, a man with meth-making ingredients in his Danville apartment and people cooking meth in a Cooper Township motel room.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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