US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Drug arrest angers building's landlord

McKeesport Daily News, PA

Officers from McKeesport police and Allegheny County District Attorney Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested two city residents on charges of drug and paraphernalia possession, leaving one landlord angry.
Felix Houser and Amber Egenlauf were arrested Thursday evening and each charged with two counts of possession of marijuana and possession of crack cocaine and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, police reported.

Police Chief Joseph Pero said officers arrived at an apartment located along the 1700 block of Flagler Street with a warrant to search the premises.

Pero said Egenlauf was ordered to restrain a dog inside the residence while officers continued their search.

As the officers continued through the apartment, they heard a toilet flushing, Pero said. Houser walked out of the bathroom and was detained as officers removed the toilet to check for contraband flowing down the pipes.

"We did not find any contraband in the commode," Pero said. "So we went downstairs to check the plumbing there."

Pero said officers opened up the pipes and discovered seven small plastic bags of marijuana and one small bag of crack cocaine along with various items of drug paraphernalia.

"We tried to get it out of the toilet first," Pero said. "We then had to take the contraband out of the plumbing."

Pero said those facing a drug search often attempt to flush the drugs down the toilet before officers gain entry to the home.

"It's something we don't want to do," Pero said in reference to removing the toilet and plumbing. "But it is part of the job."

Stanley Hoffman, the landlord of the building where the search took place, said he did not believe drugs were discovered during Thursday's incident.

"They came in and busted the pipes up with axes," Hoffman said. "Regardless, they should not have come in and did the damage they did."

Hoffman said damage total approximately $3,000.

Pero said the officers are not responsible for damages incurred during the raid.


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