Police lights for online

ST. MARYS — Preliminary hearings for Elk, Clearfield and Jefferson county residents facing several charges following their arrest April 21 at a local hotel are approaching.

According to City of St. Marys Police, officers received a call from the Comfort Lane hotel on April 20, due to reports of the smell of marijuana coming from a guest room. Officers responded to the same location April 21, where they were advised the room was rented to Randy Burress, according to the affidavit.

An officer contacted the DuBois City Police Department and learned Burress is allegedly involved in controlled substance distribution. Police then requested the assistance of K9 Nando, who was deployed on the second floor of the hotel and reportedly gave a positive alert to the odor of an illegal substance at room 204, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The room’s occupants, Randy Burress, April Dutka, James Dutka Jr. and Nicola Fritz, were detained. Police allegedly seized six ounces of methamphetamine, 65 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and one 9mm handgun, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

April Marie Dutka, 33, of Brockway, is charged with the manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia for the purpose of growing, concealing or ingesting a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Dutka, who was allegedly combative with officers at the time of the incident, is confined in the Elk County Jail.

Nicola Crystal Fritz, 38, of DuBois, faces the same charges, as well as possession of and intent to deliver methamphetamine, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

James Michael Dutka Jr., 37, of St. Marys, is charged with four felonies — manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver and conspiracy, as well as three misdemeanor counts of intent to posses a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. His preliminary hearing was held April 30. Formal arraignment is scheduled for May 31.

Burress, 42, of Rockton, faces the same charges, as well as a third-degree felony of criminal use of a communication facility. In a separate case, Burress was charged with burglary and criminal trespass May 2 and is confined in the Elk County Jail, according to court documents.

Preliminary hearings for Burress, Fritz and April Dutka are all scheduled for May 14 at the office of District Judge Mark Jacob of St. Marys.