Man, wife charged in same drug probe as daughter, son
Jim SmithEagle Staff Writer
CRANBERRY TWP — A suspected marijuana-dealing operation at a mobile home was an alleged family affair, authorities said.
Nearly 2½ pounds of combined marijuana and THC wax were seized earlier this month from Donald and Amy E. Stevens’ home at Forest Park Village off Powell Road, according to state narcotics investigators.
Also confiscated were packaging materials, other contraband and more than $10,000 in currency.
Most of the marijuana, investigators said, was found in the bedroom of the couple’s sons, ages 17 and 13.
The couple conspired with and allowed the older boy to sell drugs from the home, according to the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics.
Donald Stevens was arrested Nov. 27 on felony drug trafficking and child endangerment charges. His wife was arrested Nov. 28 on similar charges.
The Stevens’ daughter, Mersadies E. Stevens, 22, and their 17-year-old son, who lives with their parents, were previously charged with drug trafficking and possession in connection with the same investigation.
District Judge Sue Haggerty arraigned the parents on Nov. 28. Donald is in the Butler County Prison on $50,000 bail.
Amy was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. Authorities said she was spared prison so she could tend to her younger son, who reportedly suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He also is using a walker, having recently had hip surgery.
Mersadies was arrested and arraigned Nov. 13. She is free on her own recognizance.
The 17-year-old, who authorities have not identified, was also previously arrested and charged in Butler County juvenile court.
But Russ Karl, an assistant district attorney, said Nov. 28 that he plans to file a motion to certify the boy as an adult for purposes of prosecution.
The boy remains in the custody of juvenile court authorities.
The younger boy is not charged in the investigation.
On Nov. 11, state narcotics agents used a confidential informant to purchase about an ounce of THC wax for $565 from the 17-year-old boy at the family home, according to court documents.
Cranberry Township police were already familiar with the boy and his sister. They charged the teen on Aug. 1 with possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Police previously arrested Mersadies three times for marijuana-related offenses.
In one arrest on May 30, 2017, documents said, she was found with a “significant amount of marijuana” and other evidence that indicated she was “engaged in the sale of marijuana.”
The informant allegedly told investigators that the Nov. 11 deal was made at the kitchen table. Seated nearby, he recounted, were Amy and Mersadies.
Amy, documents said, was holding a small, sleeping child and she appeared to be smoking marijuana.
Donald’s vehicle was parked outside, but documents did not indicate if he was there.
Based on the alleged controlled drug buy, agents obtained a search warrant, which was executed Nov. 13 at the home.
In the bedroom shared by the 17-year-old and his younger brother, documents said, investigators found 718.8 grams of marijuana, 103.7 grams of THC wax and 30 THC oil vapes.
They also seized from the same bedroom a digital scale, rolling papers, baggies, marijuana grinders and $8,444 in cash.
The search of Mersadies’ bedroom allegedly turned up 16 grams of marijuana, a glass bong and drug-smoking pipes, an electronic scale and grinder.
Agents found a small safe in Donald and Amy’s bedroom, documents said, that contained 23 “prepackaged small bags” totaling 44.7 grams of marijuana.
A large safe allegedly had pipes, a grinder and other contraband, and $1,934 in cash.
In a third safe, agents said they seized a dozen bags containing a combined 80.9 grams of marijuana as well as Suboxone and additional drug paraphernalia.
More bags totaling 8.3 grams of marijuana, documents said, were found in the couple’s night stand and dresser.
Donald and Amy Stevens are each charged in two separate criminal complaints.
Haggerty in one case arraigned the couple on felony charges of drug trafficking and possession and misdemeanor charges of drug possession.
In the other case, the defendants were arraigned on felony charges of child endangerment and misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors and conspiracy.
Their preliminary hearings are set for Friday. Online court records showed Mersadies’ preliminary hearing will be on Jan. 8.
The couple, their daughter and younger son, authorities said, have been living at a motel since their home was damaged on Nov. 20 in an apparent accidental fire.
The fire started underneath the trailer and was possibly caused by faulty heat tape on water pipes, David Gallagher, Cranberry Township’s chief of fire and emergency services, said Nov. 27.
But a specific cause has not been determined. The fire remains under investigation in conjunction with the insurance carrier.
The fire damaged plastic, wiring and skirting under the trailer. The fire, however, did not get into the home.