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Squatter’s Tip Leads to Meth Bust in Clarion Borough

Saturday, December 14, 2019 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

meth-newCLARION BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – Police say a tip from squatters caught inside a local residence led to a meth bust in Clarion Borough on Thursday.

Court documents indicate the Clarion-based State Police filed criminal charges against 31-year-old Joseph James Bruno and 32-year-old Lacie Renee Switzer, both of Clarion.

According to a criminal complaint, around 11:05 a.m. on Thursday, December 12, Clarion Borough Police served a search warrant at a residence on Wilson Avenue following a report of people “squatting” at the residence.

The complaint notes three people were detained inside the residence, and drug paraphernalia was also observed in the residence.

One of the occupants then provided information that on December 11, they had provided Lacie Switzer with transportation to several appointments and a ride to pick up Switzer’s daughter in Sligo and returned to Switzer’s residence on South 5th Avenue. The individual stated Switzer provided $5.00 for gas and “a little bit of crystal methamphetamine” for giving her a ride.

The complaint notes the information the police received from the individual regarding Switzer and a male identified as Joseph Bruno, was confirmed based on surveillance by the Clarion Borough Police Department on December 11 at Switzer’s residence.

The Clarion Borough Police then applied for and were granted a search warrant for Switzer’s residence. The search warrant was served around 2:00 p.m.

According to the complaint, when the warrant was served, the occupants of the residence failed to open the door, and police then forced entry to the residence. Inside they found Switzer, Bruno, a known female toddler, and two other known adult males.

The complaint notes the following evidence was seized at the residence:

  • approximately 2.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine, packages in several small baggies
  • a box of needles
  • suboxone strips
  • one glass smoking device, used for smoking meth
  • a black safe containing drug packaging materials (plastic baggies)
  • a digital scale
  • $348.00 in U.S. currency

According to the complaint, while police were at the residence processing the scene, Switzer made a comment that the crystal meth wasn’t hers. Bruno then allegedly stated the meth was his.

The complaint also notes the toddler was present when the warrant was served.

Bruno and Switzer were arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Amy Long Turk at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12.

They each face the following charges:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Use/Poss Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor
– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1

Switzer also faces one additional count of felony Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver.

Unable to post $10,000.00 monetary bail each, the were both lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, with Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn presiding.


Public Court Summary – Lacie Switzer

Public Court Summary – Joseph Bruno

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