Police: McDonald’s clerk stole over $10k by failing to make deposits

By Amanda Klein | February 15, 2019

State police have accused a Cambria County woman with stealing over $10,000 from a McDonald’s restaurant where she works.

According to a criminal complaint, Cheryl Anne Dahmen, 33, took $10,844 belonging to the restaurant instead of depositing it in the bank.

She is facing two theft charges, according to online court records.

Police allege in the complaint that instead making three days worth of deposits in January, Dahmen kept the money.

On Jan. 24 the restaurant’s owner told a state trooper that the deposits were not made. Under questioning by police Dahmen gave varying accounts of what happened to the missing money.

Dahmen said she forgot to make the deposits and then said the money was either lost or stolen, the complaint said.

Dahmen then told police she planned to try to cover up the missing money by altering deposit slips and planned on replacing the money later.

Dahmen was released from jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 1.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

Retired Pittsburgh firefighter admits his role in 20 year cocaine trafficking conspiracy

By Terri Hill | February 14, 2019

A retired Pittsburgh firefighter who authorities say was involved in a large scale cocaine trafficking scheme for more than 20 years, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to drug charges.

Walter Amman, 68, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents and information revealed in court, Amman and his 77 year-old partner in the conspiracy, Richard Wright, of Banksville, had been purchasing kilogram level amounts of cocaine for more than two decades.

Wright would process the cocaine by packaging it in smaller quantities and converting some into crack. In more recent years, Amman took a more active role in the operation and assisted with the processing, packaging and distribution of the cocaine, prosecutors said.

Authorities made two controlled purchases of cocaine from Amman and then obtained search warrants for his home as well as Wright’s house and his garage.

During the search of Wright’s home police located cocaine prepackaged for sale and color-coded for size; multiple firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition; large amounts of cash; and multiple vehicles registered to Amman and his family.

Authorities found powder cocaine; large amounts of cash; three pistols (including one registered to Amman); and a safe imbedded into the concrete floor, when they searched his garage.

While searching Amman’s residence police found firearms; prepackaged amounts of crack and cocaine in a jacket with Amman’s name on it; keys to a truck (in the jacket); additional cocaine was found in the truck along with $1,000 in cash.

Amman admitted to authorities that between 700 grams and one kilogram of cocaine, as well as the crack cocaine found on his property were his, prosecutors said.

Federal authorities seized Amman’s Daytona Beach home in 2016, alleging in court papers that he paid for the home with money he obtained from selling drugs.

Amman is scheduled to appear for sentencing on June 7. He faces a total sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

Washington County police officer accused of raping 12-year-old girl

By Steve Pope | February 12, 2019

State police have accused a Washington County police officer of raping a 12-year-old girl while she was visiting his home in 2016.

A criminal complaint alleged that Trent Nelson Talbert, 58, sexually assaulted the child after she removed all her clothes thinking that Talbert was giving her an “oil rubdown.”

Police alleged in the court filing, that the child told them that Talbert sexually assaulted her several times between  June and September of 2016, while she was living at his home. She was 12 at the time. He is also alleged to have frequently walked around the home fully naked in front of the girl.

Talbert is also accused of raping the girl “at least four times” from July 13 to 20, 2018, while she stayed at his home, police said.

Authorities began an investigation in July after an adult heard the girl tell Talbert that she didn’t want another rubdown.” The girl told the adult about the prior incidents involving Talbert.

Talbert has previously worked as a police officer for Houston Borough, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Pittsburgh Technical College. He is not currently working in law enforcement.

Talbert is charged with rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child younger than 13, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent exposure and four counts of indecent assault.

He was released Wednesday after posting a 50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on March 4.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com

 

Police say a McDonald man used a 17-year-old New York girl in prostitution scheme

By Amanda Klein | February 11, 2019

Police have accused a 25-year-old McDonald man of using a 17-year-old New York girl in a sex trafficking operation.

In a criminal complaint filed Monday, police alleged the teen said St. Patrick Earl Levy was her boyfriend, who police say posted racy pictures of her online.

Levy is charged with human trafficking of a minor, two counts of corruption of minors, three counts of promoting prostitution of a minor and living off prostitutes.

McDonald police received information in December from the Glenn Falls, New York Police Department seeking help in locating the teen.

Police were able to track the teen using her phone and located her at Levy’s residence. He was arrested the same day on a bench warrant from Allegheny County.

The teen told police that she ran away from home and had been living with Levy who she met on Facebook.

According to the complaint, Levy admitted to authorities that he a posted a sexually explicit advertisement online to “solicit her for prostitution,” that included sexually graphic photos of the teen. He also admitted that he knew the girl was under 18.

“Levy admitted to leaving the room while the minor was having sexual relations with a ‘customer,’ but would stay close to make sure she was OK,” the complaint said.

After Levy’s arrest the girl was released to New York authorities.

Levy remains in the Washington County Jail in lieu of posting a $150,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

AG Shapiro sues Verizon saying the company didn’t deliver Amazon Prime, Echo as promised

By Terri Hill | February 11, 2019

Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit Monday against Verizon alleging the company repeatedly failed to deliver promised incentive items to consumers who enrolled in certain two-year contracts with the company.

According to the lawsuit, Verizon advertised to consumers that they would receive a free Amazon Echo and, in some cases, a free Amazon Prime subscription, for beginning or renewing specific contracts between November-January 2018.

The filing alleges that Verizon’s conduct constituted violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

“If a company chooses to promise incentives to consumers signing up for their services, it is their legal responsibility to deliver on those promises,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a written statement.

Customers were told they would receive an email with instructions on claiming the incentive items after the account with Verizon had been active for 31 days. However, some consumers never received a hyperlink to obtain their free Echo and/or Amazon Prime membership as promised, the lawsuit alleged.

Verizon represenatives told consumers who called inquiring about the incentive they never received were simply told that the problem would be corrected, but never was.

The lawsuit alleges that Verizon did not correct the hyperlink problems for months, and certain consumers never received their free Echo or Amazon Prime Membership. Despite this, the consumers remain enrolled in the Verizon contracts and are subject to early termination fees to get out of their 2-year contract.

Consumers who believe they have experienced issues with Verizon’s offer for a free Echo and/or Amazon Prime membership are urged to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or scams@attorneygeneral.gov, or can file a complaint at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

Owner of Johnstown drug treatment clinic indicted on drug, money laundering charges

By Amanda Klein | February 8, 2019

The owner of a substance abuse clinic was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally dispensing controlled substances and money laundering.

Stephen K. Shaner, 69, of Bulger, owner of SKS Associates, Inc., is facing a five-count indictment alleging that between May 2012 and April 2018, he conspired with Dr. Michael Cash and Dr. Ruth Jones to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for buprenorphine, and then unlawfully dispensed the drugs.

The indictment also alleges that Shaner submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare, for payments to cover the costs of the buprenorphine.

Shaner is also alleged to have used the proceeds of the drug activity to pay for personal obligations in violation of  money laundering laws.

The two doctors named in the indictment have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

“We have made significant progress in combatting the opioid epidemic in the Western District of Pennsylvania,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “Overdose deaths are down overall in our District. But our work has not ended. We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who prey on people with opioid addiction.”

If convicted on all the charges Shaner faces up to 60 years in prison, a fine of $1,750,000 or both.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

Cranberry Twp. paramedic charged with hiding cell phone in women’s bathroom

By Steve Pope | February 6, 2019

Cranberry Township police arrested a paramedic Tuesday alleging that he secretly record women using the restroom at his EMS station using a cell phone.

Matthew Thomas Leonard, 37, faces two counts of invasion of privacy and one count each of illegal interception of communications and criminal use of a communications facility.

He has been placed on an unpaid suspension, according to Cranberry Township EMS, who released the following statement: “We are aware of the situation that occurred, and are fully cooperating with the Cranberry Township Police Department. This is a police matter and all inquiries are being directed to that department,”

EMS authorities posted a similar message on social media saying, “The individual in question has been suspended without pay, pending the police investigation. The Cranberry Township EMS is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees and community.”

Police alleged in a criminal complaint that on Jan. 24 an employee found a cell phone in the women’s bathroom hidden behind a trash can.

Police were able to determine that the phone belonged to Leonard, who admitted it was his phone and he placed it in the bathroom.

“He confirmed ownership of the phone and stated he used it to surreptitiously record a female in the women’s restroom,” the complaint said.

After obtaining a search warrant for the phone, police found several videos “clearly showing Leonard in the bathroom, making attempts to conceal the cellular device in various manners,”

After being processed at the Butler County Jail, Leonard was released on his own recognizance.  He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary on Feb. 22

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com