A Philadelphia man is facing drug charges after he allegedly tried to sell an undercover officer a large amount of heroin.
Nasir M. Lawrence, 23, allegedly tried to sell fifty bags of heroin to a Lycoming County Narcotics Unit officer. The alleged attempted drug deal took place at Third Place and Park Avenue on Thursday, June 9th. You can read Lawrence’s court report below:
COURT REPORT- Nasir M. Lawrence, 23, of Philadelphia, faces 3 felony charges and 3 misdemeanor charges. The charges listed are….
35 § 780-113 §§ A30 F Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver
35 § 780-113 §§ A30 F Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver
18 § 7512 §§ A F3 Criminal Use Of Communication Facility
35 § 780-113 §§ A16 M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg
35 § 780-113 §§ A32 M Use/Poss Of Drug Paraph
35 § 780-113 §§ A16 M Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg 06/09/2016
Magisterial District Judge Christian David Frey on June 9th, 2016 presided over the preliminary arraignment for Lawrence. Lawrence was arraigned at the Magisterial District Court 29-1-01. Lawrence was assigned bail in the amount of $250,000. Lawrence was unable to meet bail and was remanded to the Lycoming County Prison pending the next hearing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 14th, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., also in front of Magisterial District Judge Christian David Frey.
Keifer J. Bathgate of the Lycoming County Detectives is listed as the arresting officer for Lawrence. The charges relate to an alleged incident that happened on June 9th, 2016.
Please remember all individuals are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
All of the information contained is based on Lycoming County PA Court Records.
View the full court record here.
According to a report, the chase began at approximately 9:45 a.m. in Loyalsock Township. The police noticed a man fitting the description of an alleged drug dealer who was wanted by the Pennsylvania State Police Vice/Narcotics Unit. The trooper was parked in the Uni-Mart parking lot at 1810 Northway Road. 29-year-old Julian L. Ruffin of Philadelphia was in the passenger seat and 30-year-old Shakoor Johnson, also of Philadelphia, was driving the Chrysler 200 that was black in color. Ruffin was the man wanted by police. According to police, the car drove to East Third Street while the trooper followed it. The car quickly turned onto Reed Street after the men became aware that police were following them. Johnson began driving at speeds that were considered to be unsafe. Then, the vehicle pulled into a private property and struck a utility pole. According to police, Johnson drove onto a playground at the former Becht School located on Clayton Avenue. The vehicle became disabled, and a foot chase ensued. Johnson was apprehended in the back yard of 1949 Sheridan Street. Police had to use a taser in order to subdue Johnson. Ruffin was caught several minutes later after police found him walking in a north direction on Norhway Road.
According to reports, Ruffin allegedly had a bag in his possession when he began running. The bag was not on Ruffin’s person when he was apprehended. A resident who lives on Sheridan Street’s 1900 block told the Pennsylvania State Police in Montoursville that he heard the ringing of a cellphone in the backyard. In addition, he found Chrysler car keys. According to police, both Ruffin and Johnson denied owning the cellphone.
According to police, there were numerous calls and texts coming to the cellphone when they started using it to tell people intending to buy heroin to go to the Lycoming Mall. Ten people allegedly met troopers at the mall. According to police, all ten people were arrested. Three of the people that were arrested told police that Ruffin and Johnson had allegedly delivered heroin to them. According to an affidavit, another person admitted that he spent $80 on seven bags of heroin that he allegedly purchased from Ruffin and Johnson. Ruffin and Johnson were allegedly in the same black Chrysler police chased on May 29th. Ruffin is currently in jail. His bail is set at $250,000. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
There is roadwork being done on the northbound lane of Poco Farm Road between Chestnut Street/Four Mile Drive and the Northway Road Exit as of this morning. There is a lane restriction in the vicinity of Williamsport.
A Philadelphia man who is currently at large was handed a lengthy prison sentence stemming from charges in which he had eight bags of heroin in a hotel room.
On Wednesday, Judge Marc F. Lovecchio gave 27-year-old Messiah Burrell a state prison sentence of 15-30 years with time served in Lycoming County Court. Burrell was convicted for the following charges: two counts of felony Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver; misdemeanor Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg; and misdemeanor Use/Poss Of Drug Paraph.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police in a report, Burrell allegedly sold a female some heroin at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Loyalsock on February 13th, 2015, at approximately 12:47 p.m. According to a press release, police responded to a domestic dispute within a vehicle beside Interstate 180 in Muncy Creek Township. Police discovered eight bags of heroin in the hotel room Burrell was staying in after they arrested Burrell.
Burrell did not attend the March trial. At that time, he was found guilty. According to district attorney Eric R. Linhardt, Burrell’s current location is not known. There is a bench warrant out for his arrest. His sentence will start when he is found. In a press release, Lovecchio said he gave Burrell such a long sentence in part due to his failure to appear in court.
In a separate incident in May of 2013, Burrell was found guilty of summary Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact. That incident occurred on May 16th, 2013. Burrell was also found guilty of Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact in March of 2012. That alleged incident took place on March 5th, 2012. According to police, he allegedly pulled hair from a woman’s head and hit her. The incident took place at an apartment located on East Orange Street’s 500 block in Lancaster.
In February of 2013, the then 24-year-old Burrell faced several charges that were eventually dismissed in connection with an alleged domestic dispute incident. At that time, Burrell was living in Lancaster. According to police, he allegedly choked his 22-year-old girlfriend and allegedly punched her on February 14th, 2013. She sustained a broken nose and other injuries to her face. Also according to police, Burrell allegedly picked up his son by his head before allegedly throwing him on the sidewalk. The boy’s head and shoulder hit the pavement. According to police, the child had contusions as well as a strained neck. Both Burrell’s girlfriend and the child were treated at a hospital. The alleged incident occurred on the sidewalk of North Franklin Street’s 500 block. The following charges were filed against Burrell but were later dismissed: two counts of felony Aggravated Assault in the 1st degree; misdemeanor Simple Assault in the 1st degree; misdemeanor Simple Assault in the 2nd degree; Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense in the 1st degree; and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
A Williamsport man received a lengthy prison sentence after he killed his 22-year-old girlfriend and then hid the body in a closet for several weeks in July of 2015.
President Judge Nancy Butts sentenced 35-year-old Hasan Gooden-Reid to 30-60 years in state prison in Lycoming County Court on Thursday, June 9th. He had pleaded guilty to murder prior to his sentencing.
Kristina Pope was 22 when she was killed by Gooden-Reid on July 7th. Gooden-Reid entered his apartment located on Sherman Street’s 1600 block where Pope was sitting in the living room. According to Gooden-Reid, water was running on the floor due to a broken toilet and his cell phone had been smashed. According to what Gooden-Reid said to the court, he was angry with Pope and she tried to exit the apartment but he would not let her leave. Pope grabbed a pair of scissors and the two struggled. Gooden-Reid got the scissors from Pope and she began choking him while they were both on the couch. According to Gooden-Reid, he stabbed her between four and five times on the left side below her armpit.
After Gooden-Reid stabbed Pope, he moved the body to the bed in his bedroom and covered it up. He told the court he was afraid to call the police the night he killed Pope. At some point, he moved the body to a closet. The body was in the apartment for around three weeks when the Lycoming County Housing Authority instructed him to leave so the apartment could be fumigated as people were complaining about the smell as well as insects. According to Agent Raymond O. Kontz III in an affidavit, Gooden-Reid said the smell was because of clothes that were moldy and wet as well as a toilet that had been broken for three weeks. Gooden-Reid left the apartment and came back later that night. At that time, he moved the body to the trash can outside. According to Gooden-Reid, he put the body on the grass beside the trash can. He told the court that because of the smell, he “didn’t know what else to do”. On July 28th, a member of the Lycoming County Housing Authority found what was a jaw bone within a trashcan and police were called to the scene. Gooden-Reid has been in prison without bail since July 28th.
Gooden-Reid was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to what he told the court, he did not take his medication for a year prior to killing Pope. He was declared competent to stand trial in March. In court, Gooden-Reid said that “[Pope] was my girlfriend and I loved her. It broke my heart.” He said that when he killed Pope, “[He] was in a state of rage.” He also said he knew his actions were wrong and that at the time of the murder, “[He] wasn’t in [his] right state of mind”.
Gooden-Reid’s prison sentence was for the following charges: third-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and obstructing the administration of the law. District Attorney Eric Linhardt, Gooden-Reid said that because of Gooden-Reid’s mental illness, he was not capable of “a specific intent to kill” so a first-degree murder charge could not be pursued. According to Linhardt, the sentence Gooden-Reid received was the maximum required by law. Kimberly Pope-Seiberling, who is Pope’s aunt, had asked that Gooden-Reid receive the maximum sentence.
Gooden-Reid said he “want[s] to start [his] life over again.” According to Lindhardt, Gooden-Reid will be eligible for parole when he reaches 65 years of age. However, Lindhardt doesn’t believe he will be paroled at that time because of “the violent nature of the offense”. A family friend of Pope, Dianna Coules, said the following in the courtroom, “She died too young and sadly at the hands of someone she thought loved her… People deserve second chances, but not today. The community will never be safe with you in it.”
The Pennsylvania State Police in Montoursville are warning residents in Lycoming County and surrounding areas about yet another phone scam.
According to police, people were called and told that there was an arrest warrant for their relative had been arrested in another state. Then, the unknown person demanded money so that the “situation” can be resolved. Several people in the area received such phone calls.
According to police, the phone calls are fraudulent and money should not be given to the caller(s). As a reminder, you should never give out personal or financial information to unknown callers. You should also never confirm information to unknown callers.
The cause of the fire that left four homeless in South Williamsport on Thursday, June 9th, has been determined.
According to fire investigators, the fire began in the kitchen where cooking was left unattended. The fire spread fast. The damage estimate is not known at this time. The identities of the tenants have also not been released at this time.
The fire broke out at 1731 Riverside Drive at about 6:00 p.m. When firefighters arrived, the home was fully involved. Two children were in the home when the fire broke out. The mother ran in the home and rescued the children, and a neighbor helped as well.
The mother sustained burns to the bottom of her feet. She was taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment, and then she was released. In addition, a firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion. A man who lived at the residence was not home when the fire broke out.
The home is considered a total loss. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. At this time, it is not considered to be suspicious.
Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) announced that there will be a town hall discussion via telephone regarding opioid and heroin addiction in Pennsylvania on Monday, June 13th, 2016.
Residents of Lycoming, Bradford, Union, Susquehanna, and Sullivan counties, and any other Pennsylvania resident, is invited to the special town hall discussion. The one hour telephone discussion will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Those who attend the discussion will have the opportunity to ask questions. You may sign up for the telephone discussion at senatorgeneyaw.com. The call in number for the discussion is (877) 229-8493, and the PIN is 111880.
Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Barry Denk and Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board Member and Professor of Nursing at Clarion University Dr. Nancy Falvo will be guests at the discussion. There will be a live audio stream that people on computers, tablets, and smartphones can listen to as well as ask Yaw questions. Right before the event begins, there will be a link to the event at senatorgeneyaw.com.
The 10th public hearing about the opioid and heroin problem in Pennsylvania was held on Thursday, June 2nd, by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bicameral and bipartisan legislative research agency, and it is a part of the General Assembly. The hearings started in 2014. Yaw was the chairman of the hearings. Two reports were produced in 2014 and 2015 as a result of the hearings. The reports outline legislative recommendations and include testimony. A third report is expected to be released in 2016.