2015-05-23 / Front Page

Drug case hinges on warrant’s validity

An interesting drug case was among those on the docklet for last week’s Cameron County Court session.

An Emporium man, Tyler Clinger, who’s charged with possession of paraphernalia and marijuana is seeking to have evidence suppressed in his case. His attorney claims police seized the evidence at an apartment on West Sixth Street on Feb. 27 without a legal warrant.

Clinger, 20, was in Cameron County Court while lawyer Jeanne Miglicio argued several points filed in an omnibus pretrial motion before Judge Richard Masson.

Borough Police Officer Pat Straub testified that the warrant was obtained after the property owner notified police that he had observed marijuana plants being grown in a closet at the apartment.

The owner also said he had smelled marijuana when in contact with two tenants of the property. One of them, Nathaniel Bickford, faces a number of drug charges as a result of the search.

Clinger was not a resident of the apartment, but he was present at the time of the search. He was thus subject to be detained and searched along with the residents, according to Cameron County District Attorney Paul Malizia.

Miglicio contested that assumption, maintaining that the search should have been limited to residents of the apartment, based on the foundation of the warrant.

Judge Masson said he would render a decision on the motion in the next few weeks.

In a separate case, Andrew J. Beck, 24, of Emporium, appeared to answer to parole violations for allegedly attempting to purchase Alpha-PVP, an illicit substance often marketed on the streets as “bath salts”, through the mail.

Beck was on parole due to three unrelated drug cases. The revocation hearing was continued, pending the results of a pre-sentence investigation.

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