GantDaily: Cases for 2 Suspected Drug Dealers Joined for Trial

CLEARFIELD, Pa. – Two New York men charged with bringing drugs into the area will be tried together for their crimes.

Shaking Devine Saunders, 37, 8418 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Far Rockaway, NY, is charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not registered, criminal conspiracy, manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Edward Allen, 39, 431 Beach St., Far Rockaway, NY, is charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal use of communication facility.

Both remain in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The charges stem from an incident Feb. 23 in Lawrence Township after police received a report about drug activity at the Travel Lodge Inn on the Clearfield-Shawville Highway. Officers stopped the vehicle they were traveling in and found more than $7,120 in cash and 38.62 grams of crack cocaine in a bag. A computer bag contained a digital scale and money receipts from transfers through Western Union that totaled $4,236.

Recently during motions court, the commonwealth made a motion to join the two cases for trial. David Gorman of the Attorney General’s office explained the cases have the same facts and circumstances. He stated that it would be a waste of money to do them separately. He also noted that if tried separately, the second defendant would have an advantage because of information learned from the first trial.

Attorneys for both men were opposed to this, but President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman granted the motion.

A decision on whether to include the third defendant in these cases in the same trial was postponed. Lashanda Mount, 28, 25 Pyramid Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY, is charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not registered, conspiracy, manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mount is pregnant and having some health concerns at this time. Gorman suggested that they could pick a jury without her and then schedule the trial for when she can participate. Her child is due in November and the next jury selection is Oct. 2.

According to a grand jury, police pulled over a vehicle on state Route 879 and took Saunders, Allen and three others into custody. Permission was given to search the vehicle from the owner. The bags in the vehicle were also searched after receiving consent from the owners or through a search warrant.

A confidential informant told officers that the group had been in Clearfield for at least a week where they were selling drugs, primarily crack cocaine and cocaine. They moved from hotel to hotel in the area.

During this time, Mount was bagging the cocaine into smaller bags. She told an informant that she was waiting for two ounces of soft cocaine to be delivered so she could start her own drug business.

Allen had three or four cell phones for customers to contact him to purchase drugs.


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