SHAMOKIN — An estranged couple from Columbia County have been charged in connection with the distribution and possession of heroin, fetanyl and methamphetamine relating to an undercover investigation that led to a drug transaction early Friday morning in the parking lot of Weis Markets.
Katelyn Mickel, 25, of 590 W. Third St., Berwick, and her estranged husband, Richard L. Smith, 29, of 41 Sparrow Drive, Lot 9, Berwick, are in Northumberland County Jail after being arraigned on multiple felony offenses filed by Shamokin Cpl. Bryan Primerano and Coal Township Cpl. Joshua Wynn.
According to a criminal complaint, Mickel spoke to an undercover police officer by telephone Thursday night about purchasing methamphetamine and heroin. She said her husband was in the process of acquiring heroin and methamphetamine from Mahanoy City and would sell the drugs when he returned to the area. Police said Mickel agreed to sell bundles of heroin for $15 per bundle.
At 12:05 a.m. Friday, Mickel met with two undercover police officers in the Weis Markets parking lot and delivered a plastic bag of methamphetamine and three bundles of heroin to the officers in exchange for $250.
Mickel told the undercover police officers that she had additional heroin in her truck and began walking toward the vehicle.
At that point, the undercover officers called for backup police to make an arrest, prompting Mickel to enter the passenger seat of the truck operated by her husband. Police said Smith drove the truck over a sidewalk and jumped a curb onto Sixth Street before being stopped by police.
Police located a used heroin wrapper on the front seat console of the truck and took Mickel and Smith into custody.
During a consented interview with police, Smith said his wife was selling drugs and that he witnessed her place a few bundles of heroin and methamphetamine under the truck console.
After Smith granted permission to police to search his truck, Primerano and Wynn seized a cigarette under the truck console containing methamphetamine and heroin and found the “buy money” used in the drug transaction on the rear floor of the truck.
Police also discovered 13 bundles of heroin/fentanyl, four tin foil packets of heroin and a plastic bag of methamphetamine.
Smith told police Mickel hid the cigarette pack under the truck seat when she spotted police.
Smith said he drove Mickel around to sell the drugs in different locations, including Shamokin.
Mickel is charged with felonies of selling fetanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver fetanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy.
Smith is charged with felonies of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine and criminal conspiracy.
Mickel and Smith were arraigned early Friday by on-call Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III and committed to Northumberland County Jail in lieu of $40,000 cash bail each.