Two Waive Hearings in Oil City Drug Delivery Case

| May 17, 2018

GavelOIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Two individuals waived preliminary hearings on felony drug charges stemming from an investigation that was initiated after incriminating phone calls were made at the Venango County Jail.

According to court documents, the following charges against 33-year-old James Lee Word, of Detroit, MI, have been transferred to Venango County Court of Common Pleas:

– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Intentional Possession of Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor (two counts)
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Word remains lodged in the Venango County Jail.

According to court documents, the following charges against 32-year-old Stephanie Renee Harris (Sloss), of Oil City, have been transferred to Venango County Court of Common Pleas:

– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)
– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3
– Intentional Possession of Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor (two counts)
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Harris remains lodged in the Venango County Jail.

The charges were waived on Wednesday during a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, Patrolman Ruditis, of the Oil City Police Department, conducted multiple interviews with confidential sources as well as listening to phone calls from the Venango County Jail and determined that both James Lee Word and Stephanie Harris were communicating through third-party calls to keep updating one another on the status of the ongoing investigation, other arrests, and discussion of their case involving conspiracy.

The complaint also states that information was found regarding a bag containing items of Word’s that was said to be located at Harris’ residence.

Through interviews and jail phone calls made by Word, police learned that the bag at Harris’ residence on Plummer Street, in Oil City, was to contain controlled substances.

Based on the information received, Patrolman Ruditis obtained a search warrant for the residence.

According to the complaint, the execution of the search warrant revealed a black duffel bag containing a box of plastic sandwich baggies as well as approximately 9.9 grams of crack cocaine and heroin. The bag was found in the living room of the residence where multiple children would have access.

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