The federal court docket for Tyrell P. Wells was unsealed Tuesday and the indictment against him confirms that federal prosecutors are taking over the criminal case withdrawn by the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office.
Wells, 23, of 1918 Mary St., Farrell, was arrested at about 11 a.m. Thursday in the courtroom of District Judge Ronald E. Antos, Farrell, on a federal warrant, immediately after the DA had dropped two cases.
Mercer County District Attorney’s Office typically allows federal charges to proceed over local charges because the federal government has stiffer sentences, more flexible search and seizure rules and greater investigative resources.
A federal grand jury on Aug. 28 charged Wells with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
A conviction on the possession charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, and the firearm charges carries a sentence of 5 years to life. The law specifies that the firearm charge cannot be levied to run at the same time as any other sentence, that probation is not allowed, and that the sentence cannot be suspended.
Federal officials also are seeking forfeiture of the gun.
Wells pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday and was ordered detained until trial after testimony from Southwest patrolman Scott Patterson. U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy, Pittsburgh, said there are no conditions of bail that could be set to insure the safety of others.
The federal charges stem from a call at 4:22 p.m. May 28 of a man with a gun in the 200 block of Wallis Avenue, Farrell, Southwest Mercer County Regional police said.
Police spotted a car on Union Street, Farrell, that matched the description of one seen in the 200 block of Wallis, and followed it to Landay Apartments, also on Union.
Two men ran from the car, one of them Wells, police said.
Wells was seen shortly afterward walking out of a home in the 700 block of Hamilton, Farrell, out of breath and sweating, police said.
Police found a Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun and a bag containing a half ounce of crack in a trash can at the rear of the home, police said.
About 4è hours after the initial report, Wells placed a telephone call to Mercer County Jail inmate Dashawn Scott, police said. In the call, which was recorded, Wells told Scott he was followed by police to “the ville,” which police believe refers to Landay’s nickname of “Freak Village.”
He said he ran from police with “Terran,” who police said refers to Terran Paige-Hughes, who was seen by police after the man with the gun call running in the 700 block of Hamilton.
Wells also told Scott he threw a “hammer,” a reference to a gun, and a “half,” a reference to a half ounce of crack, and that police found “everything,” police said.
Wells was shot in the hip in August 2008 during a gun battle in the 1000 block of Hamilton Avenue, Farrell.
- Local News
Drug tests get tentative board OK
Carol Sloan, a Hermitage resident, had three concerns about the proposed voluntary student drug testing program in Hermitage schools, one of which was the possibility of spending tax dollars on the program.
School board proposes 1st tax hike in 6 years
Hermitage School Board is proposing the first property tax hike since 2007-08 under a 2013-14 budget tentatively approved Monday.
School district facing big deficit and hard choices
Sharon City School Board on Monday unanimously approved a preliminary budget for the 2013-14 school year includes a $2 million deficit.
More than a million in Pa. denied right to vote
More than 1 million registered voters in Pennsylvania will be barred from casting a ballot Tuesday because the state only allows registered Democrats and Republicans to participate in the primary election.
District reserves to cover $500,000 shortfall
Although Mercer Area School District has a $500,000 shortfall in its budget for the coming school year, school directors do not plan to raise taxes.
Yes and no on voter ID
After another “dry run” of a voter ID law under legal review, Pennsylvania voters might start chafing.
Crash claims 21-year-old
A 21-year-old Sandy Lake man was killed early Saturday when he lost control of his car and rolled it several times on Hadley Road, Perry Township.
UPMC to judge: Throw out bias claim
UPMC Horizon has asked a federal judge to throw out a former employee’s claim that he was discriminated against because of his gender.
Judicial daily double
This year marks the first time in the county’s 209 years as a judicial district that voters have the opportunity to choose a new judge, while also deciding whether to retain an existing one.
Court: Divorce pact still a contract
Superior Court this week agreed with a local judge that a man’s change in fortune does not get him out from under an alimony agreement he entered long ago.
- More Local News Headlines
- Drug tests get tentative board OK