DA: West Bethlehem Township nuisance bar padlocked

November 16, 2012

The Washington County district attorney’s office, along with state police and Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement officers, raided a West Bethlehem Township bar Friday night, closing it as a public nuisance bar and taking four people into custody on drug charges.

District Attorney Gene Vittone said James Durila, owner of J&J Hotel at 1959 Lone Pine Road near Marianna, faces a hearing Wednesday in Washington County Court on a temporary injunction investigators obtained to close the bar. The 7 p.m. raid was carried out under a sealed warrant, Vittone said.

He identified two of the suspects in custody as David Brown and Victor Jones.

Vittone said Brown, 37, of California Borough, had been arrested on drug charges in the bar in March 2011 and was sentenced last month in Washington County Court to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of crack with intent to deliver and drug possession under a plea agreement reached with the prosecution.

The district attorney’s office had been receiving numerous complaints from local residents, including some from Marianna Mayor Jeremy Berardinelli, about suspected drug activity at the bar, Vittone said.

The county adult probation office and Vittone’s drug task force assisted in the raid.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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