Monongahela police arrest two on drug charges

July 18, 2017
Brian F. Barwell

Two men were arrested Saturday on drug charges by Monongahela police, including one man who was free on bond after his arrest by the same department on drug charges about a week earlier.

Robert Lee McFadden, 67, of 703 Young Ave., Monongahela, and Brian F. Barwell, 52, of 227 Pleasantview Road, Finleyville, were both taken into custody at their respective homes by police.

As part of the narcotics investigation, police reportedly followed McFadden to Barwell’s home in Union Township Saturday afternoon. Barwell got into McFadden’s vehicle and police followed them to a bar in West Elizabeth. The two men entered the bar and after a short time, returned to the vehicle and drove back to Barwell’s home, where McFadden dropped Barwell off.

When Monongahela police tried to stop McFadden for a traffic violation, he reportedly stopped briefly before taking off. He was stopped at his home. Police found 50 stamp bags of suspected heroin in his vehicle and another 23 stamp bags in the house.

Police served a search warrant at Barwell’s home, finding about 50 bags of suspected heroin. Barwell told police they drove to the bar and split the purchase of heroin, each taking about 50 stamp bags. The Finleyville man also reportedly told police the two had been buying a brick of heroin a day and would resell the drug.

Barwell was arrested July 7 by Monongahela police on charges of possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of paraphernalia and one count each of person not to possess a firearm, criminal use of a communications facility, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license stemming from a traffic stop at Coal Bluff and Finleyville-Elrama roads, Union Township. He was released from Washington County jail a few days later after posting $15,000 bond.

Both are charged with possession and possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of paraphernalia and criminal use of a communications facility. McFadden is also charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police and traffic violations. Both were arraigned before District Judge Curtis Thompson. McFadden was released from Washington County jail after posting a $50,000 percentage bond Monday. Barwell is in jail on $50,000 bond. They are each scheduled for a July 27 preliminary hearing before District Judge James Ellis.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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