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Police, probation officers uncover stolen firearms, drugs from Raspberry Hill unit

SHAMOKIN — Five firearms, including two that were stolen, marijuana, fentanyl and drug paraphernalia were confiscated by police and adult probation officers Friday afternoon at a home in the Raspberry Hill Housing Complex.

Patrolman Raymond Siko II reported charges are pending against Jahmir Dwight Smith, 24, of 32 Raspberry Hill, and his 22-year-old brother, Zafier Nahemiah Smith, of 4109 E. Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, in connection with the discovery of a .22-caliber loaded handgun, .22-caliber loaded snub-nose revolver, .380-caliber loaded semi-automatic containing two magazines, .357-caliber loaded Magnum revolver, an SKS-AK 47 containing a round of ammunition in the magazine, an assortment of bullets, shell casings, a multi-colored pipe with marijuana residue, a digital scale and white capsules containing white powder that tested positive for fentanyl at Jahmir Smith’s residence.

The Smith brothers were taken into custody by police and probation officers without incident at about 2:30 p.m. Friday. They were transported by Siko and probation officer Matt Narcavage to Northumberland County Jail, where they are being detained on probation violations.

Siko said Jahmir and Zafier Smith will be charged with a felony of receiving stolen property and misdemeanors of possessing fentanyl, possessing a small amount of marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia. Zafier Smith also faces a felony of possessing a firearm while being a felon.

The Smith brothers are scheduled to be arraigned today.

Siko said police were called at 2:17 p.m. Friday to assist adult probation officers who were completing a home visit on Jahmir Smith, who had been transferred into Northumberland County from an out-of-county probation department.

Siko said Zafier Smith was on probation in Montgomery County.

Also present during the visit were Jahmir Smith’s girlfriend, Joyla Ellison, and their two small children.

Police had responded several times in the last three weeks for shots fired in a wooded area adjacent to the Raspberry Hill Complex, with the most recent incident occurring Thursday afternoon.

After a report of the shots being fired Thursday, police reported two black males were encountered on foot near the housing complex and fled from officers after being warned to stop.

Siko said some of the shell casings from shots that were fired matched the calibers of the guns discovered at 32 Raspberry Hill.

The patrolman said the Smith brothers denied firing any shots during interviews at the police station.

Siko said the .380-caliber handgun is registered to Cheyanne Shade while the .22-caliber revolver is registered to Samuel Nolter. The officer said Nolter’s .22-caliber revolver and the .22-caliber snub-nose revolver were reported stolen.

Siko commended adult probation officers for the discovery of the guns and drugs and praised them for their dedication and professionalism in assisting police on a daily basis.

“We work very well with Northumberland County probation and parole officers,” said Chief of Police Darwin Tobias III. “They were a huge asset in this case and enabled us to get five guns off the street. I want to thank them for their assistance. This type of cooperation between our two agencies has resulted in multiple major arrests over the years.”


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Fifth Ward cleanup marked by good turnout and big results

SHAMOKIN — A gritty, determined crew of 30 volunteers braved inclement weather conditions on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon to help clean up the Fifth Ward. Despite the foul weather, the cleanup was a huge success, volunteers said, as two large truckloads of trash were collected and removed.

The cleanup effort, which was organized by Cameron Murray and her husband, Dave Long, began shortly after 1 p.m. at the Shamokin Street Playground. Volunteers gathered around Murray to hear her instructions and receive their marching orders prior to embarking on their designated routes.

“I want to personally thank everyone for showing up here today,” said Murray. “I know the weather is less than ideal, but we appreciate your willingness to help.”

Murray then formed several teams of three to five volunteers each, before handing out maps of the cleanup routes. In addition to the railroad tracks, the plan was to cover four city streets — Pearl, Franklin, Shamokin and Rock — which run from north to south and all streets in between from Race to Montgomery, which run east to west.

The volunteers wore orange safety vests and were provided with gloves, heavy-duty trash bags and plastic buckets for collecting recyclables. Trash picker poles were also available for those who were unable or preferred not to bend over to collect garbage. Supplies were donated by local individuals, area businesses and the City of Shamokin.

Assisting in the cleanup effort with their trucks were George Grogan Sr., Darrell Hepler and John Stine, who drove around picking up full bags of trash and buckets of recyclables when contacted by team leaders.

Two of the worst areas identified for trash dumping were at the Shamokin Creek near the intersection of Pine and Rock streets and along the railroad tracks near Pearl Street, where a large number of items were collected and discarded.

Team leader Jessica Berg said she couldn’t believe all of the trash that had been dumped near the creek.

“At the corner of Pine and Rock, there’s a big pile of household garbage thrown along the creek bank. We also found piles of cigarette butts thrown in front of houses that appeared to have ashtrays on their porches,” she said.

Along the railroad tracks, several teams of volunteers worked their way southward, weaving in and out of wooded areas and finding massive amounts of rubbish, large and small.

“I’m surprised that more people aren’t helping to keep their properties clean,” said Grogan, who is a Philadelphia native. “I’ve seen it all, including much worse back where I’m from, but this area is bad and needs to be cleaned up.”

J.P. Connolly, another team leader, said, “I just hope a cleanup event like this helps to improve the morale of our Fifth Ward residents and the City of Shamokin. I’m originally from the Wilkes-Barre area but I’ve lived here for the past five to six years. I’d like to see things get cleaned up and stay that way.”

Three hours later at the conclusion of the event, all volunteers gathered at the former Shades Field near the end of Pearl Street for a cookout and refreshments. There were two large dump trucks filled with collected bags of trash and other large items. The hardworking group was tired but pleased with the end result of their efforts. Murray addressed her team of volunteers one final time.

“Today was a test of grit to see who was in it to win it. I could not be happier with all that we accomplished, and I hope every volunteer is proud of the difference they made in our community today,” she told them. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your hard work. I also want to thank everyone who donated to our cleanup. It wouldn’t have been a success without the kindhearted donations from everyone. Our small community pulled together and tackled a huge problem.”

Shamokin Fifth Ward on Facebook is where people can find more information and purchase stickers ($6 each) in support of the cleanup effort.

The group plans to organize additional cleanups, with all proceeds going toward supplies and fees.


Larry Deklinski / LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO 

Line Mountain’s Ashley Schreffler, left, fires the ball toward the Shikellamy net Thursday afternoon at Line Mountain.


Becky Lock /  Jaap Buitendijk/Walt Disney Motion Pictures  

From left, Elle Fanning, Angelina Jolie and Sam Riley perform in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”