Drug case guilty plea; shirt’s evidence led to the collar

A Marietta man who was caught with heroin in his shirt at a house during an October drug raid pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to drug possession.

John D. Pugh, 34, of 312 Matthews St., provided a written guilty plea on the fifth-degree felony charge, said Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth.

According to Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider, Pugh had been a visitor at the 210 S. Fifth St. residence of Gary McFadden II. McFadden had been under surveillance for drug trafficking and was being watched when he sold drugs to a confidential informant Oct. 10.

After the drug deal, officers executed a search warrant at McFadden’s home, where they found Pugh.

“When officers got there (Pugh) had no shirt,” said Schneider.

Officers had given Pugh permission to leave, but he asked to go back inside and get his shirt, said Schneider. Officers instead retrieved the shirt for him. They found a single unit dose of heroin hidden in a cigarette pack in the shirt, he said.

Pugh will likely be sentenced according to an agreed disposition in the case, said Schneider. The agreement stipulates that Pugh will spend 30 days in the Washington County Jail and serve one year of community control sanctions, he said.

McFadden pleaded guilty to two fourth-degree felony drug trafficking counts-one for the Oct. 10 incident and one for an early drug deal. He was sentenced by Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane to five years of community control and six months in the county jail, said Schneider. He can be transferred to SEPTA Correctional Facility after 130 days, he said.

Two others arrested in connection with that day’s raid have also pleaded or been sentenced.

McFadden’s neighbor, Robert Becker, 69, of 213 Meigs St., also had his home raided Oct. 10.

Becker had been witnessed supplying McFadden with drugs on two occasions and was caught with some of the money used by the confidential informant during the raid. Becker pleaded guilty in March to a fourth-degree felony count of drug trafficking, two fifth-degree felony counts of drug trafficking, and a fifth-degree felony count of drug possession.

Miriam Sergent, 52, who lives with Becker, was also found with heroin the day of the search. She was sentenced in February to two years in prison for the fourth-degree felony possession charge and for a fifth-degree felony complicity to trafficking charge.

Pugh is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. May 16, said Burnworth.