Canonsburg police nab nine on drug charges

October 29, 2013
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Top row, from left, Gregory Lomax, Adam Snatchko and Shawn Lyle; bottom row, Frances Wagner, Rickeema Bedillion and Jeremy Wojcuich
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Gregory Lomax
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Rickeema Bedillion
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Jeremy Wojcuich
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Shawn Lyle
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Adam Snatchko
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Frances Wagner

Canonsburg police arrested nine suspected street-level dealers of cocaine and heroin and obtained warrants for two others after undercover investigations over the last several months.

Arraigned Monday or Tuesday on charges of possession and possession with intent to deliver either heroin or cocaine were Rebecca Lynn Cumpston, 25, of 25 Leasure Way, Cecil; Frances Anne Wagner, 53, of 113 Boyle Ave., Canonsburg; Gregory D. Lomax, 35, of 108 Boyle Ave., Canonsburg; Jeremy Lee Wojcuich, 27, of 350 Elm St., Washington; Adam Snatchko, 41, of 546 Euclid Ave., Canonsburg; Gina Sutton, 25, of 112 Valley View Terrace, Canonsburg; Shawn A. Lyle, 36 of 347-B Valley St., McDonald; Rickeema Bedillion, 23, of 440 Canton Ave., Washington; and Chelsea Gauthier, 22, of Bower Hill Road, Pittsburgh.

All nine were arraigned before District Judge David Mark. Sutton and Gauthier were released on $25,000 unsecured bond. Cumpston was arraigned by video from Allegheny County jail where she is incarcerated. The remaining six were placed in Washington County jail on $25,000 bond.

Warrants were also obtained for Cottie Richter, 23, of McDonald. Police also will charge three more with misdemeanor drug charges via summons from Mark’s office.

Most of the purchases of the illegal drugs were made by confidential informants monitored by police. Several of the transactions were made in the parking lot of borough businesses.

Mayor David Rhome said he receives daily calls about suspected drug activity, even one message that was brought to him Tuesday.

“We get calls daily, but we can’t make it happen overnight,” Rhome said.

Canonsburg police Sgt. Al Coghill said everything starts with awareness from the informants and residents who let police know about potential illegal activity.

Police Chief R.T. Bell said Rhome made the fight against drugs a prime objective since the mayor took office almost four years ago.

“But these investigations can take months with a lot of undercover work and buys by informants,” the chief added.

Coghill said many of the street-level dealers, as well as addicts, are the ones responsible for many crimes such as burglaries and thefts.

“It seems like in many of the arrests made by this department there is always a drug connection,” Coghill said. “That is we make this a priority.”

”We’ve also done arrests of high-level dealers,” Coghill said. “The investigations continue.”

Rhome said the Washington County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration assisted by providing the borough with resources that were used in the investigation. Coghill said many of the officers on the department have received training through one of those agencies. The sergeant noted that several officers in the department have expertise in narcotics investigations and that one is assigned to work with the DEA.

McDonald police and state constables assisted in serving warrants.

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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