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Cops: Tip leads to Smithton woman’s arrest on drug, weapon charges

November 9, 2018

Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputies finally caught up with a Smithton woman wanted on marijuana-related charges. She now is charged with new crimes after allegedly being found with a bevy of other drugs in her possession.

Deputies stopped Terri L. Downs-Hayes, 43, in West Newton late Friday as she drove a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu on the 200 block of South Third Street, acting on a tip from an informant, according to Sheriff Jonathan Held. She was wanted on prior drug-related charges after she was discovered with marijuana in her possession Oct. 4, according to online dockets.

During the stop, Downs-Hayes was allegedly found to have crack cocaine, powder cocaine, Suboxone strips, Xanax tablets, a crack pipe and an illegal spring-assisted folding knife, according to court documents. She was arraigned Saturday on charges of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, fleeing and attempting to elude police, tampering with evidence, possession of prohibitive offensive weapons, driving on a suspended license, careless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were filed by sheriff’s deputies.

She remains in the county jail on $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 29.

A confidential informant told investigators Downs-Hayes had been “hiding in the Pittsburgh area and obtained a different loaned vehicle described as a blue-gray Chevrolet,” sheriff’s Deputy John Dixon reported in court documents.

The informant said she would be returning to Westmoreland County and driving to West Newton late Friday to sell crack cocaine at a residence there, Dixon reported.

According to court documents, deputies were stationed in West Newton and saw the vehicle on North Third Street.

In addition to the other drugs and knife, deputies also confiscated a small amount of marijuana and $187 cash Downs-Hayes had hidden in her clothing, Dixon reported. Two men in the car with her were not charged.

West Newton and Belle Vernon police assisted, Held said.

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