Police: Two drug suspects found hiding in Charleroi house

August 15, 2014
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From left, Joshua Wardlaw and Aaron Jackson
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Joshua Wardlaw
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Aaron Jackson

CHARLEROI – A fugitive from Monessen and a homeless man were apprehended in separate drug cases after police said they found both hiding in a Charleroi attic late Thursday.

Charleroi Regional police requested officers from four nearby departments to surround 223 McKean Ave. about 11:30 p.m. after receiving a tip that a wanted man, Aaron Jackson, 21, was inside the house, court records state.

After receiving permission to search the house from a woman who answered the door, officers found Jackson and turned him over to Monessen police to face felony drug charges filed there in April.

They also took Joshua Wardlaw, 19, into custody on a charge of cocaine possession and related offenses, the record shows.

Police said they were led to an attic, where they smelled marijuana smoke and found the suspects hiding behind walls created with blankets.

Officers said they seized $80 from Wardlaw, who is homeless, and found 23 small bags of cocaine stuffed in a couch where he was sitting when they arrived.

Wardlaw is in Washington County jail on $25,000 bond set by District Judge Larry Hopkins.

Jackson was wanted on two Westmoreland County Court bench warrants for failing to appear in drug cases Monessen police filed against him, one in November 2013 and the other in March.

He also was wanted on a warrant signed by District Judge Joseph Dalfonso for failing to appear for a preliminary hearing in an April heroin possession case filed by Monessen police.

Jackson’s bond was revoked, and he was lodged in Westmoreland County Prison.

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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