3 arrested when warrant served on Washington bar

October 12, 2013
Three Washington men were arrested Saturday morning at Ernie’s Freestyle in Washington. Heroin and Marijuana were confiscated. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Three Washington men were arrested Friday night when members of the Washington County Drug Task Force and other agencies served a warrant at a bar on North Main Street.

Dante Moore, 43, Jamar Terry, 32, and Paul Nathan Johnson III, 32, were taken into custody on arrest warrants when investigators served the warrant at Ernie’s Freestyle, 88 N. Main St., Washington, about 11 p.m.

“Over the past year-and-a-half, we have made a number of controlled buys in and around the bar of cocaine and heroin,” said Rick Gluth, task force director. “We got the search warrant for the bar from a common pleas judge and served it.”

The three men were wanted on warrants on charges filed for selling drugs to either informants or undercover detectives earlier this year in the area. Gluth said the three men were either in or near the bar when they were taken into custody Friday night.

Gluth said suspected heroin, cocaine and marijuana were also confiscated. The drugs were either on patrons or located inside the bar. More arrests are pending after detectives review the evidence as well as video surveillance from inside the bar.

Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone said his office had been getting complaints about the bar and the area around it, prompting the task force investigation. The owners of the bar voluntarily agreed to close the establishment.

The state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement also took part in the warrant service based on their own investigation of the establishment. In a release issued early Saturday, the LCE indicated it is continuing its nuisance bar investigation with the assistance of the DA’s office. A Washington code enforcement officer also discovered several building code violations, according to the LCE.

Also assisting were Washington and state state police and Washington County adult probation.

All three men were arraigned before District Judge Gary Havelka on drug charges and placed in Washington County jail on $20,000 bond.

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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