JEANNETTE (KDKA) — Two people are accused of trying to conduct a drug deal inside a local district justice’s office.
Court records say that Adam Brandonio and Maria Harshey devised a plan, hoping to get drugs inside the Westmoreland County Jail.
“They were trying to smuggle suboxone into the county jail,” Sherriff John Held said.
Brandonio, already in jail, was to have a hearing at District Justice Joseph Demarchis in Jeannette on Aug. 1.
Investigators said in addition to the suboxone, Harshey put pills and tobacco in the package and taped it to the back of the toilet inside the district justice’s public bathroom a week before the hearing.
On the day of the hearing, Brandonio would ask to use the bathroom, retrieve the drugs and smuggle them into jail.
What they didn’t realize is someone inside the jail heard about their plan and told the sheriff’s department.
Deputies replaced the illegal substances with an identical glove that was stuffed with paper.
“He did take the bait,” Hand said. “We caught him, and he gave back the false evidence.”
When confronted by police, Brandonio said he thought it was no big deal, telling police it was just supposed to be tobacco.
Brandonio and Harshey are in Westmoreland County Jail, facing conspiracy and drug charges.