Last updated: March 31. 2014 11:11PM - 4691 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — City police pursuing two men after a hand-to-hand exchange on South Main Street found heroin and marijuana in a vehicle with three young children.

Police said heroin packets in zip-lock bags were found in an open can of Natty Daddy beer and a bag of marijuana was found in the console of the car driven by 29-year-old Tyrell Lee Dunbar, according to charges filed.

Dunbar said the three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, inside the car were his kids. The children were turned over to their grandmother, police said.

Dunbar, of Sambourne Street, Wilkes-Barre, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A passenger in the car, Jamil Mitchell, 28, of Philadelphia, was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana and one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence.

Dunbar and Mitchell were arraigned Saturday by District Judge Rick Cronauer. There were no records of Dunbar and Mitchell jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Monday.

According to the criminal complaints:

Police spotted two men in a Cadillac parked in the 200 block of South Main Street talking to a pedestrian Friday night. A hand-to-hand exchange was made with the occupants of the car with the pedestrian, who entered a business.

Police pursued the Cadillac, which accelerated at a high rate of speed to Sambourne Street.

An officer approached the car and detected “an overwhelming smell of burnt marijuana,” the complaint says.

Only one of the three children was properly buckled in a safety seat, police said.

Police removed an open can of beer from the front passenger floor where Mitchell sat. Inside the can, police allegedly found a zip-lock bag with heroin packets, according to the complaints.

Police obtained a search warrant for the car and found three cellphones and marijuana in the center console.

Court records indicate Dunbar is facing drunken driving charges filed by state police at Dunmore on Nov. 29, and owes $1,279 in fines for a 2009 drunken driving conviction and $655 in fines for a drug conviction in Lackawanna County.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled on April 8.

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