Punxsy Man Accused of Stealing Vehicle, Caught in Possession of Drugs

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man is facing criminal charges for reportedly taking a vehicle he wasn’t permitted to use and being caught in possession of marijuana.

Court documents indicate the Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 31-year-old Stevonta Bartholomew Lofton.

According to a criminal complaint, on Monday, March 30, a known woman contacted the PSP Punxsutawney to report that Stevonta Lofton had stolen her boyfriend’s car.

Trooper Nicholson then contacted the known woman’s boyfriend, who was currently incarcerated in the Jefferson County Jail, who allegedly stated that Lofton had used the vehicle in the past. However, he had returned it with damage and had then been told he was no longer allowed to use it. He also related that while he was incarcerated, he told the known woman that only she was allowed to use the vehicle to go to work, and no one else was permitted to use it.

According to the complaint, the known woman reported that Lofton had called her three times on March 29 and had asked to use the vehicle, but she told him “no.” She stated she then went to sleep, and when she woke up in the morning, the vehicle was gone. She explained that she believed she could get the keys back from Lofton, so she didn’t call until he refused to give her the keys back.

The woman told police she located Lofton through Snapchat maps, went to where he was located, and found the car. She then called Lofton, who allegedly stated he wasn’t giving her the keys back. She told police Loften said he was going to give the keys back to the owner’s sister. She noted the vehicle was taken from East Main Street in Reynoldsville and was recovered on Cranberry Alley in Punxsutawney. She stated that she didn’t know where Lofton had gone.

The complaint notes that during a follow-up investigation, Trooper Nicholson observed Lofton leaving the Sheetz store in Punxsutawney with another person and walking toward a white BMW SUV. Trooper Nicholson approached the individuals, who had then entered the vehicle, and noticed a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Trooper Nicholson asked Lofton to exit the vehicle, and he was taken into custody for the reported theft.

According to the complaint, during a search incident to arrest, two bags of marijuana and a wallet containing $569.00 cash was found on Lofton.

The complaint notes the driver of the vehicle was then interviewed who stated that he had purchased 1.5 grams of methamphetamine from Lofton for $75.00.

Lofton was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock at 9:41 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, on the following charges:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
– Marijuana-Small Amount Personal Use, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

He was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $25,000.00 (10%) monetary bail.

A preliminary hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.

According to a second complaint, Punxsutawney-based State Police were dispatched to the Jefferson County Jail around 11:57 a.m. on March 31 for a report of an inmate being in possession of contraband while being booked into the jail.

The complaint states a corrections officer reported that Stevonta Lofton was brought to the jail the prior night and was placed in a holding cell. The officer told police when corrections officers at the jail were booking Lofton, they found a clear plastic bag with an unknown substance inside Lofton’s wallet.

According to the complaint, a second corrections officer, who was overseeing the booking, reported she asked Lofton what the item was, and Lofton only said, “Ummm.” The officer said when asked if the item was drugs, Lofton stated it was meth.

Trooper Burkett, of the Punxsutawney-based State Police, retrieved the bag of substance and observed the contents appeared similar in composition to methamphetamine. The suspected methamphetamine was then logged into evidence.

Lofton was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak at 10:24 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, on the following charges:

– Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2
– Possession of a Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Bail for the case was set at $50,000.00, monetary.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, with Judge Bazylak presiding.

Court documents indicate Lofton is also awaiting a preliminary hearing on firearm and drug possession charges from an incident that occurred earlier in March. The hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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