Washington man sentenced to prison in drug case

September 4, 2014
Avery Turner Jr.

A Washington man arrested after police found 184 stamp bags of suspected heroin and a stolen .45-caliber semiautomatic revolver during a search of his hotel room was sentenced to a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Avery Lionel Turner Jr., 23, appeared Tuesday before Washington County Judge Valarie Costanzo. He pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with the intent to deliver, receiving stolen property and person not to possess a firearm.

Turner was arrested in May 2013 by members of the Washington County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and state police after they received a tip he was staying at the Ramada Inn, West Chestnut Street, North Franklin Township.

Turner was wanted on warrants by East Washington police for allegedly kidnapping his estranged girlfriend from outside the LeMoyne Center April 8, 2013, and then driving through Washington while assaulting her. Washington police obtained a warrant on a charge of aggravated assault after he allegedly put a knife to the same woman’s throat during a confrontation at her Lincoln Terrace home April 17, 2013.

When police forced their way into the room, they found Turner and Mercedes Renee Stamm, 19, of 301 Locust Ave., Washington. The case against Stamm has yet to be heard, according to court documents.

Detectives spotted a digital scale and a gun on a night stand. Several stamp bags of the suspected drugs were on the mattress. The task force obtained a search warrant and found a total of 184 stamp bags. The gun was reported stolen to East Washington police.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Moschetta, said Turner was on parole at the time he was arrested. As a result, Turner was ordered to finish his parole sentence before he begins his most recent sentence.

“The five to 10 years will start in 2016,” Moschetta said. “He’s also got five years of probation after that.”

Moschetta said the kidnapping and aggravated assault cases were dismissed Tuesday because the woman would no longer cooperate with police.

Turner will be sent to a state prison.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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