GANT: Local Man Waives Hearing in Child Endangerment Case

CLEARFIELD, Pa. – A local couple has been accused of having their one-year-child within reach of various drugs, needles, a firearm and other dangerous items.

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Alen Edward Erskine, 37, of Clearfield and Amber Rose Johnston, 33, of Curwensville have been charged by Officer Craig A. Kanour of the Lawrence Township police with felony endangering the welfare of children.

Erskine and Johnston have also been charged with one misdemeanor count each of recklessly endangering another person, intentional possession of a controlled substance and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Erskine waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. His bail is currently set at $25,000 monetary.

Johnston’s case is listed as inactive and there’s a magisterial bench warrant against her, a court employee told GANT News.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Jan. 14, officers were requested to assist state parole agents with locating John L. Irwin, 35, who was wanted by state parole. Officers learned Irwin was possibly at Erskine’s residence at 128 Hill St., Clearfield.

Upon arrival on-scene, Agent Keith Summerson asked two individuals if Irwin was there. Both said yes and that officers could come inside. Upstairs, he saw Irwin sitting on a cooler; Erskine and Johnston were on a bed with their one-year-old child.

When Irwin was taken into custody, agents saw multiple items of drugs and paraphernalia “within an arm’s reach of him.” This prompted Kanour to request to enter the bedroom with Summerson.

In plain view on a work bench, Kanour allegedly saw multiple capped hypodermic needles, a glass pipe with a burnt residue, a glass jar with a bag of a small amount of marijuana, a bag of methamphetamine and multiple burnt spoons with a white powdery substance.

Inside a black box, Summerson discovered a Raven Arms .25-caliber pistol, which allegedly had its serial number scratched off, with a loaded magazine with approximately six bullets. He also saw two tablets with drug-related information and two cell phones.

Underneath the work bench, officers discovered a black lock box that was bolted to the floor. Johnston stated she had purchased the safe and it belonged to her. She willingly opened the safe with a key and it allegedly contained approximately $2,300.

Inside the safe was a can of corn beef hash that had a “false bottom,” which police said is commonly used to store controlled substances. In the can were approximately 28 small bags, which were marked “Undertaker” and “Cobra,” of suspected heroin.

There were nine more bags of suspected heroin inside a black zipper pouch. Also, inside the safe, there was a glass jar with two bags of suspected mushrooms; there were approximately nine unknown, orange pills and two-and-a-half unknown, white pills.

Johnston told officers that everything inside the safe belonged to Irwin, except for some loose cash. She also said that the firearm, which authorities had located in the room, belonged to Irwin.

While Irwin was in the custody of a second parole agent downstairs, he reportedly admitted that anything found in the bedroom belonged to him.

Irwin has been charged with a felony count each of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and possession of firearm with manufacturer number altered, plus a misdemeanor count each of intentional possession of a controlled substance and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Irwin is scheduled to appear for his preliminary hearing at 10:30 a.m. March 27 during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.

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