CRANBERRY TWP — A 17-year-old was arraigned Tuesday on charges for his alleged role in helping his Cranberry family run a suspected marijuana-dealing operation out of their home.
Hunter Stevens faces three counts of felony criminal conspiracy; two counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; criminal use of a communication facility; and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is being charged as an adult after Russell Karl, assistant district attorney, asked to transfer the case from juvenile to criminal court. Hunter Stevens has graduated from high school, and the serious nature of the charges and sophistication of the alleged plot makes him “a danger to the community,” Karl wrote, adding “He poses a risk to himself and the community” and penalties at the juvenile court level are not adequate for Stevens' case.
In December, Judge Timothy McCune ordered the case to adult court, noting Stevens turns 18 on Feb. 27.
Stevens was formally arraigned Tuesday in Common Pleas Court and released on pretrial supervision.
Because of the charges against Hunter Stevens, some child endangerment charges against the rest of his family were withdrawn last week.
Amy Stevens, Donald Stevens and Mersadies Stevens faced an array of charges after marijuana and THC wax were found at Forest Park Village off Powell Road in November, according to state narcotics investigators.
All three were charged with various drug trafficking offenses as well as charged separately with child endangerment, as there were two teenage boys also in the home at the time of the arrests.
Donald Stevens, 45, was charged with felony drug trafficking and child endangerment. Amy Stevens, 43, faces similar charges.
Mersadies Stevens, 22, and Hunter Stevens, who live with their parents, were previously charged with drug trafficking and possession in connection with the same investigation.
Last week, all corruption of minors charges were withdrawn against Mersadies Stevens. A child endangerment and corruption of minors charge were withdrawn from both David and Amy Stevens.
According to Karl, because Hunter Stevens is being tried as an adult, the parents and sister could not be charged with corrupting him as a minor. They still face two such charges, each related to the 13-year-old son.
The three Stevens waived to court the drug charges against them. David and Amy Stevens waived the child endangerment charges. They are all scheduled for formal arraignment Feb. 26 before Judge William Shaffer and are free on bail.
In November, state narcotics agents used a confidential informant to buy about an ounce of THC wax from Hunter Stevens at the family home, according to court documents.
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.
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 Hunter Stevens and his younger brother, documents said, investigators found marijuana, THC wax and THC oil vapes. They also seized from the same bedroom a digital scale, rolling papers, baggies, marijuana grinders and cash.
The search of Mersadies' bedroom allegedly turned up 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 “prepackaged small bags” of marijuana.
A large safe allegedly had pipes, a grinder and other contraband and cash. In a third safe, agents said they seized a dozen bags containing marijuana as well as Suboxone and additional drug paraphernalia. More bags of marijuana, documents said, were found in the couple's night stand and dresser.