Tyrone man faces drug, gun charges

Following multiple traffic stops and information from a confidential source, police arrested a Tyrone man on drug and firearm charges, court documents stated.

Richard A. Ewing, 42, was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Matthew Dunio after Logan Township police discovered suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (also known as ecstasy), drug paraphernalia, cash and a firearm in a motel room Ewing was occupying, according to Blair County court documents.

On Wednesday, police were observing the Econo Lodge, 2906 Pleasant Valley Blvd., because of information they received about potential drug activity in the area, Logan Township Police Department reported.

During the stakeout, police stopped a vehicle leaving the motel with a suspended registration.

While interviewing the driver, Valerie Sprankle, police were informed Sprankle’s vehicle was not insured, and an officer noted Sprankle exhibited several behaviors consistent with concealing drug activity, police reported.

Police also observed cotton swabs in Sprankle’s vehicle, which are often found with people who use intravenous drugs, and a hypodermic needle laying in a ditch near the vehicle, court documents stated.

Sprankle allegedly told police she was picking up clothes from her friend, Arica Robenolt, at the hotel, police reported.

A confidential informant told police Robenolt was selling drugs from the motel room, court documents stated.

Based on the information gained during the traffic stop and the lack of proper vehicle registration, police impounded Sprankle’s vehicle and requested a search warrant for the car, according to a criminal complaint.

Inside the vehicle, they discovered empty plastic bags with suspected meth residue and one gram of meth in a separate plastic bag, police reported.

After confirming which room at the Econo Lodge was under Robenolt’s name, police again observed the motel and stopped a vehicle leaving the property, because of a vehicle suspension logged to the registered vehicle owner, court documents stated.

Robenolt, Ewing and Sprankle were in the vehicle, and the driver did not consent to a search, so a K-9 unit was called to circle the vehicle, police reported.

While police noticed a black backpack in the car, Logan Township police K-9 Ciro did not alert officers to any drugs in the vehicle, so Ewing, Robenolt and Sprankle were allowed to leave, court documents stated.

Later, Robenolt and Ewing were observed returning to the hotel room with the black backpack in tow, police reported.

After compiling additional search warrants, police discovered a significant amount of controlled substances in the black backpack with Robenolt and Ewing in the motel room, a firearm in another backpack, cash and paraphernalia, according to a criminal complaint.

Prior to executing a search warrant, Robenolt allegedly approached an officer and said Ewing asked her to take charges for the firearm and drugs, because he had too many charges already, court documents stated.

No charges have been filed against Robenolt or Sprankle.

Ewing was unable to post his $50,000 cash bail and is jailed at Blair County Prison with a preliminary hearing scheduled on Jan. 14 with Dunio.

Mirror Staff Writer Ike Fredregill is at 814-946-7458.


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