Nyieka S. Farrington, 20, of the North Side was held for court on charges of firearms not to be carried without a license; conspiracy-firearms not to be carried without a license; disorderly conduct-hazardous/physical offense; purchase, etc. alcoholic beverage by a minor; and restrictions on alcoholic beverages following a preliminary hearing before District Judge Thomas Caulfield on Jan. 16.
Swissvale police filed the charges after an incident Dec. 2, 2012 in the 2300 block of Buena Vista Street involving a parked car with six occupants. When the car remained parked for more than 30 minutes, police approached the vehicle.
According to a criminal complaint, when the driver and a passenger opened the door, the officer saw a large amount of smoke in the vehicle and smelled the odor of burnt marijuana. The driver walked away from the vehicle, between two houses and could not be found, despite assistance from Penn Hills and Edgewood police.
Inside the car, an officer found a small burnt marijuana cigar and an open purse with the handle of a firearm evident. The Cobra Arms .38 revolver was not stolen but had five live rounds in the cylinder. The officer also recovered 10 stamp bags of heroin and a few burnt rolled marijuana cigars. In the car, there was also an open bottle of vodka and two soda bottles containing an alcoholic mixture.
All occupants of the car, including Farrington, were placed in custody.
Charges of manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered filed by Swissvale police against Farrington were withdrawn. Caulfield also dismissed a charge of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
Other cases heard by Caulfield include:
- Jovanna Antwone Manns III, 19, of Braddock waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age and corruption of minors, filed by Allegheny County police. A charge of unlawful contact with a minor/sexual exploitation was withdrawn. According to a criminal complaint, the mother of a 13-year-old girl contacted Swissvale police after her daughter admitted that Manns had kissed her and she learned that he had touched the girl inappropriately in March 2012. Swissvale police requested the assistance of the county police because the incident involved a juvenile sexual assault.
- Kevin Haburjak, 18, of Swissvale waived his right to a preliminary hearing on a charge of theft by unlawful taking-moveable property filed by Swissvale police. On Dec. 3, a pedestrian flagged down two officers to tell them he had just recovered stolen property. According to a criminal complaint, the pedestrian told police that a man riding a mountain bike had walked away from the garbage cans at the rear of his property. When the pedestrian checked the can, he found a parcel box containing new Converse boots with the address of a Monroe Street residence and four 9mm Ruger handgun magazine packages, one of which was still in the plastic container. The boots were returned to the resident, who had been waiting for them to arrive. When fingerprints were checked by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Crime Scene Unit, Haburjak was identified.
- Nathaniel Darlyn Thomas, 22, of Homewood waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, vehicle registration suspended, driving without a license and operating a vehicle without the required financial responsibility. A charge of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver filed by Churchill police was withdrawn. According to a criminal complaint, a Churchill officer on routine patrol in the 2200 block of William Penn Highway ran information on a vehicle and discovered the registration had been suspended for no insurance. After initiating a traffic stop, the officer noted a strong odor of fresh, unburnt marijuana eminating from the passenger compartment. After a check through the National Crime Information Center, the officer discovered that Thomas had a learner's permit that expired on Aug. 6, 2012 and that his passenger had a suspended driver's license. When they were frisked, the officer discovered two clear bags of marijuana on Thomas. The passenger had a small amount of the drug.
- Dinah Williams, 51, of Wilkinsburg waived her right to a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal mischief/damage property, intent, reckless or negligence; driving under the influence of a controlled substance, Schedule 1, first offense; driving at a safe speed; careless driving, damage real property by operating a motor vehicle; and driving under the influence of a controlled substance, impaired ability, first offense. A charge of driving under the influence (general impairment/incapable of driving safely, first offense) was withdrawn. According to a criminal complaint filed by Braddock Hills police, Williams' car was found on top of numerous tombstones along the lower road of All Saints Cemetery, near the Wilkins Avenue entrance, on Feb. 12, 2012. The vehicle had passed road-closed signs posted because of road conditions. Williams was inside the car, in the passenger seat, and police noted she exhibited signs of intoxication. Williams complained of an injury to her foot and slight chest pain. According to the complaint, she told police she thought she had crashed because someone drugged her at a home in Braddock. She was transported to UPMC Mercy hospital. A blood test showed a positive result for cocaine but negative for alcohol. The cemetery reported 18 tombstones were involved, a total of $20,000 in damages.
- Ruben Lorenzana, 42, of Swissvale waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered, driving under the influence (general impairment/incapable of driving safely, second offense), driving under the influence of a controlled substance (Schedule 1, first offense) and driving license suspended or revoked. Charges of tampering with/fabricate physical evidence and driving under the influence (highest rate of alcohol, blood alcohol content .16+, second offense), possession of marijuana and careless driving were withdrawn. According to a criminal complaint, Swissvale police made a traffic stop with two men inside. Both men had difficulty speaking and standing. When an officer patted down Lorenzana, he discovered marijuana. Lorenzano also had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on him. He was transported to UPMC Presbyterian hospital for a blood test but refused to comply. He was transported to Allegheny County Jail. During a search of the car, police located suspected crack cocaine on the passenger seat floor.
- Thomas Kulasa, 31, of Hazelwood waived his right to a preliminary hearing on two counts of manufacture, deliver or possession with intent to maufacture or deliver, and two counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered. A Forest Hills police officer on patrol along Ardmore Boulevard saw a man walking with poor balance. The officer learned the man had an outstanding warrant for drug charges from the Port Authority Police of Allegheny County. During a search, the officer found the man in possession of three bottles of prescription medication, two of which were not prescribed to him. One contained 32 Alprazolam pills and the other had 69 Clonazepam pills.
- Eric Steven Taylor, 24, of Turtle Creek was held for court on charges of driving under the influence of a controlled substance (Schedule 1, first offense), driving under the influence of a controlled substance (impaired ability, first offense) and duties at a stop sign. According to a criminal complaint filed by Swissvale police, two officers on patrol near the corner of Washington Street and Noble Street saw a tan Chevy Blazer fail to stop for a sign. After initiating a traffic stop, the officer noted he smelled the odor of burnt marijuana on Taylor's breath, as well as glassy bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Taylro failed field sobriety tests. He submitted to a blood alcohol content test at UPMC Presbyterian hospital.