WILKES-BARRE — A Custer street couple were arrested and the house they were renting was shut down for six months under the city’s “One-Strike” ordinance after police raided the residence Wednesday afternoon.
Arrested were Natasha M. Golomb, 22, and Christian J. Sholly, 21, both of 91 Custer St., according to criminal complaints.
The court papers state that Hanover Township police conducted controlled purchases of marijuana from Sholly on days prior to the bust. Wilkes-Barre police conducted surveillance and observed Sholly exiting and entering the Custer Street home and, on one occasion, saw Sholly enter the residence with a red backpack.
Officers searched the residence on a warrant shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, apparently busting through the locked front door.
Police secured Sholly and Golomb in the house and searched the premises. Police seized a large amount of suspected marijuana that was found in a vacuum-sealed bag inside a red backpack they found in the kitchen, according to court papers.
Police also seized several smaller bags of suspected marijuana, a plastic bag containing suspected molly and suspected Oxycodone, a loaded Springfield XD40 semi-automatic handgun, more than $7,600 in cash, assorted packing material and assorted electronics including the cell phone used to facilitate the controlled marijuana purchase.
The Springfield pistol, which was found in a drawer beneath the kitchen stove, had been reported stolen to Larksville police, court papers state.
Wilkes-Barre police charged Sholly and Golomb with one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance, possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and receiving stolen property.
Sholly and Golomb were arraigned on those charges before on-duty District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township via video-conference from Wilkes-Barre police headquarters. Halesey set their bail at $50,000 and scheduled their preliminary hearings for 9 a.m. March 27 before District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre.
The defendants also were arraigned Wednesday on separate charges filed by Hanover Township police.
According to two separate criminal complaints filed against Sholly and one filed against Golomb, officers with Hanover Township police and the Luzerne County Drug Task Force conducted controlled drug buys from Sholly and Golomb in the Wyoming Valley Mall parking lot on Jan. 25 and from Sholly in the parking lot of Rite Aid on Amber Lane in Wilkes-Barre on March 18.
The buy in the Rite Aid lot occurred within 1,000 feet of a school zone, a complaint states.
Sholly was charged with two counts each of delivery of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance and one count of criminal conspiracy. Golomb was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy related to the Jan. 25 drug buy, the court papers state.
Sholly’s bail on those charges was set at $20,000 combined and Golomb’s was set at $10,000. Their preliminary hearings on the alleged purchase at the Wyoming Valley Mall will be at 1 p.m. March 26 before District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre. Sholly’s hearing on the alleged drug buy at Rite Aid will be at 9 a.m. March 27 before Kane.
The two-story home at 91 Custer St. that neighbors said the couple was renting cannot be rented for six months, as per the city’s “one-strike” ordinance that’s been enforced a number of times since it took effect on Sept. 1. in an attempt to deal with problem properties where gun and drug crimes are committed. And neighbors said they are glad.
Neighbors who were interviewed separately and declined to give their names all said that people would stop by the house at all hours, stay for about five minutes and leave. They said they suspected drug activity.