Five Clarion County Women Charged in Drug Smuggling Conspiracy

| December 30, 2016

jail-smuggling-bustCLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Five area women are facing multiple felony drug charges as a result of a joint investigation conducted by the Clarion County Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) and Clarion-based State Police.

Court documents filed Tuesday by Clarion County Chief Detective William H. Peck IV and Clarion-based State Police Trooper Craddock indicate that the following persons have been charged in the case:

  • Rebecca Dawn McAninch, 26, of Rimersburg
  • Amanda Lynn Gauthier, 34, of Lucinda
  • Donielle N. Beichner, 25, of New Bethlehem
  • Brooke K. Reed, 26, of Clarion
  • Julie Ann Simpson, 32, of Shippenville

Investigators Uncover Drug Smuggling Activities

According to a criminal complaint, Clarion County Probation Officer Jay Kerle notified police on November 17, 2016, that phone calls involving Donielle Beichner were intercepted, including a call to Joseph Bruno on November 16.

These calls led Officer Kerle to investigate further and view surveillance video from the Clarion County Courthouse. Kerle reported that surveillance shows “Bruno entering the third-floor bathroom prior to Beichner who was at the Clarion County Courthouse for a court appearance,” the criminal complaint states.

The Clarion County Jail was then contacted and advised of the incident and “began to search inmates housed in the same block with Beichner. Suboxone, Heroin, tobacco, and Kratom were found on Beichner and several other female prisoners,” the criminal complaint indicates.

Additionally, ten females tested positive for various substances.

Other known inmates were interviewed and corroborated that Beichner had smuggled controlled substances into the jail, including Heroin, Suboxone, and Methamphetamine, the criminal complaint continues.

Beichner Interviewed at Clarion County Jail

Beichner “was interviewed and admitted that she had communicated via telephone from the Clarion County Jail to Bruno to facilitate him in obtaining controlled substances and placing them in the bathroom at the courthouse for her to retrieve. She advised that when she went to the bathroom, she located the contraband behind the garbage can. She admitted that it had been tobacco and three Suboxone strips, which she secreted in her vagina. Beichner admitted to providing some of the Suboxone to two other inmates,” according to the criminal complaint.

Beichner denied bringing Heroin into the jail and claimed that it was brought back to the jail by Simpson after she returned from a CYS hearing at the Clarion County Courthouse.

Gauthier Interviewed at Clarion County Jail

During an interview at the jail with Tpr. Craddock, Amanda Gauthier admitted to sharing a bag of Heroin with a known inmate. She also told Tpr. Craddock that she asked her boyfriend – Gregory Bloom, 52, of Lucinda – to “look into” Kratom during a jailhouse phone call, according to the criminal complaint.

During the call, she asked Bloom to meet with Bruno and provide Kratom, Heroin, and chewing tobacco.

Gauthier said that she wasn’t sure if the meeting took place until Beichner came back from court and “had the chew, Heroin, and Kratom with her.”

Gauthier told Tpr. Craddock that Beichner gave her the above drugs. Gauthier also stated that she then shared a bag of the Heroin with a known inmate and kept the rest for herself.

Bruno Located in Clarion

After leaving the jail on November 17, Detective Peck and Tpr. Craddock located Bruno at the 286 South 5th Avenue apartment of Brooke Reed.

Bruno, Reed, and Reed’s minor child were at the apartment.

Investigators found drugs and multiple drug paraphernalia items in a bedroom.

Also located inside the residence was a bag of clothing with the loss prevention tags attached.

Clarion-based State Police and Clarion County Adult Probation assisted with the search.

Reed Interviewed

During an interview with Detective Peck, Reed indicated that the drugs and drug paraphernalia belonged to Bruno, who was living at the apartment.

When Detective Peck asked Reed if she knew about the “drug activity” at the jail, she stated that Bruno left her apartment the night before “to meet a guy that was the boyfriend of a girl named Amanda.”

Reed said that Bruno returned a short time later with “some drugs.” He packaged the drugs into a condom, according to Reed. Reed told Detective Peck that Bruno planned to leave (the drugs) at the Clarion County Courthouse for Beichner the next morning.

Reed also admitted to talking to Beichner on the phone on November 16 and giving Bruno three Suboxone strips to place in the condom, according to the criminal complaint.

Reed later admitted to Tpr. Craddock that Bruno agreed to pay off her outstanding fine in exchange for the Suboxone strips.

When questioned about the clothing with attached loss prevention devices, Reed stated that she paid a friend $20.00 to steal the items for her.

Bruno Interviewed

Bruno was interviewed and “admitted to placing Heroin, Suboxone, Kratom, Methamphetamine, and tobacco in the bathroom of the Clarion County Courthouse for the female to retrieve while she was there for a court hearing,” the criminal complaint states.

Bruno stated that “phone calls and text messages were made to and from Bloom and arrangements were made for him to meet Bloom at (a convenience store) in Paint Township on November 16, 2016, for the delivery of controlled substances to be delivered to (a known female inmate) to be carried into the Clarion County Jail,” according to the criminal complaint.

Bruno advised that “he had received stamp bags of Heroin, tobacco, and a substance known as Kratom from Bloom to be delivered to (the known female inmate). Several jail calls were intercepted supporting the fact that Bloom had arranged to deliver controlled substances to Bruno to be provided to (the known female inmate) on behalf of Bloom’s paramour,” the criminal complaint continues.

Bruno was transported to the Clarion State Police Barracks for processing where he provided a written statement. He also picked Bloom’s picture out of a photo lineup and identified him as the person who provided the drugs.

Video Obtained from Clarion County Courthouse

On November 21, Detective Peck obtained video from the Clarion County Courthouse showing Bruno entering the female restroom and Beichner entering the same restroom a short time later.

Based on Beichner’s claim that Simpson brought Heroin back to the jail after a CYS hearing at the courthouse, Detective Peck continued to investigate.

Additional video surveillance was obtained from the day of Simpson’s CYS hearing (November 3).

The video shows Bruno entering the restroom at 1:31 p.m. Bruno entered the restroom twice. He can be seen “bending down” as he entered the “small restroom.” Nine minutes later, Simpson entered the same restroom.

Bruno later admitted to placing drugs in a restroom at the courthouse on November 3.

Simpson Interviewed

On December 1, Julie Simpson was interviewed by Detective Peck and Tpr. Craddock at the Clarion County Jail.

On the evening of November 17, Simpson was found to be in possession of Heroin and tobacco. She also tested positive for Methamphetamine and Opiates.

Simpson admitted to ingesting Heroin and Methamphetamine with Beichner and another inmate on November 17.

She also agreed to “hold a bag of chew” for Beichner and placed the baggie inside her bra to conceal it from the guards.

Simpson stated that she had no prior knowledge of the stamp bag of Heroin found in her possession by the guards that night and that it “must have been with the tobacco or stuck to the bag of tobacco.”

Simpson also denied bringing drugs into the jail.

She continued to deny the allegations after Detective Peck explained that she was seen on camera in the bathroom where Bruno placed the drugs minutes earlier. She stated that she did not use the restroom that day.

Simpson admitted that Beichner asked her several times in the days prior to her CYS hearing to pick up drugs left by Bruno.

She then “remembered that she did use the bathroom that day,” according to the criminal complaint.

Simpson said that in the car ride from the jail to the courthouse she started her menstrual cycle. When they arrived at the courthouse, a Clarion County Sheriff’s deputy provided her with a female hygiene product. She entered the restroom at this point while the deputy waited in the hallway.

According to the criminal complaint, Detective Peck asked, “Do you expect me to believe that you started your (menstrual cycle) in the five-minute car ride to the courthouse on the day that I obtained information that you smuggled drugs into the jail? You enter the same restroom just nine minutes after Bruno was seen entering the bathroom?”

Simpson denied the allegations and requested a lawyer.

Detective Peck then obtained jailhouse phone call records from Simpson’s account on November 2, November 3, and November 4. The calls were made by Beichner and Simpson could be heard in the background.

The details of the phone calls confirm the criminal conspiracy to smuggle controlled substances into the Clarion County Jail on November 3, according to the criminal complaint.

Earlier Charges Against Bruno and Bloom

Bruno was charged in connection with the case on November 18. His case was transferred to the Clarion County Court of Common Pleas on December 20.

Bloom is facing multiple charges for providing drugs to Bruno and inmate Rebecca McAninch while she was on work release. He faces a preliminary hearing before Judge Timothy P. Schill on January 3.

New Charges Filed Against Five Women

The following charges were filed on Tuesday, December 27, at Judge Schill’s Office.

Amanda Lynn Gauthier, 34, of Lucinda:

  • Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (3 counts)
  • Conspiracy – Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2 (2 counts)
  • Possession Control Subs, Contraband/Inmate, Felony 2 (2 counts)
  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (2 counts)
  • Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Per Not Registered, Misdemeanor (3 counts)
  • Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3 (2 counts)
  • Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Donielle N. Beichner, 25, of New Bethlehem:

  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (12 counts)
  • Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2 (3 counts)
  • Possession Control Substance, Contraband/Inmate, Felony 2 (2 counts)
  • Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3
  • Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Per Not Registered, Misdemeanor (2 counts)
  • Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Julie Ann Simpson, 32, of Shippenville:

  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (4 counts)
  • Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2 (2 counts)
  • Possession Controlled Substance, Contraband/Inmate, Felony 2 (2 counts)
  • Conspiracy – Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2
  • Conspiracy – Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3
  • Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Per Not Registered, Misdemeanor (3 counts)
  • Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Brooke K. Reed, 26, of Clarion:

  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (2 counts)
  • Conspiracy – Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2
  • Retail Theft-Take Merchandse, Felony 3
  • Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor 1
  • Use/Possession Of Drug Parapharnalia, Misdemeanor

Rebecca Dawn McAninch, 26, of Rimersburg:

  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
  • Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2
  • Possess Control Subs, Contraband/Inmate, Felony 2
  • Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor
  • Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

The defendants face preliminary hearings before Judge Schill on January 10.


Copyright © 2017 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls, Regional News

 

More from exploreVenango.com: