The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 2, 2013

Drug charges await two Conneaut men

CONNEAUT —

 Felony drug charges are ahead for two Conneaut men found inside a house where methamphetamine had been made, police said.

Chris Petri, 23, 279 Center St., and Joshua Szalai, 33, 346 N. Amboy Road, were arrested Friday evening after police went looking for Szalai on drug charges, police said.

Petri has been charged with three felonies — illegal manufacture of drugs or cultivation of marijuana, attempted tampering of evidence and aggravated possession of drugs — as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Conneaut Municipal Court spokeswoman said Monday. Szalai, already wanted on two drug-making charges, now faces two more of the same charges, the spokeswoman said.

Both men had their initial court appearances on the charges Monday afternoon, and will return Monday for preliminary hearings, a court spokeswoman said.

The arrests were made Friday night after police went to North Amboy Road looking for Szalai after warrants were issued following the discovery of a meth-making operation at the address several days ago. The owner allowed officers into the house, where they found Szalai and Petri inside, police said. As officers tried to handcuff Petri, he ran for the door, police said.

Petri was tackled on the front porch and struggled with officers who tried to subdue him. During the tussle, Petri tossed away an object later retrieved by officers and found to contain two plastic bags holding a white powder. A field test showed the powder was meth, officers said.

Police said they found several meth labs inside the house last month. Officers originally went to the house in response to a call asking police to check on the welfare of an occupant.

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