Drug charges move to county court
Facing charges after a traffic stop in Butler Township allegedly yielded a gun, money and suspected drugs, the driver saw those charges withdrawn while her passenger had his moved forward to county Common Pleas Court.
Charles Lloyd, 44, of West Mifflin, and Tylah J. Witherspoon, 24, of Pittsburgh, were charged by state police with felony drug sales and four counts of misdemeanor drug possession following a traffic stop Nov. 25, 2022.
Lloyd was additionally charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, felony possession of a prohibited firearm and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
Witherspoon was additionally cited for a broken brake light on her vehicle.
Both defendants appeared Thursday, March 30, for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Kevin O’Donnell.
J.P. Kulzer, assistant district attorney, withdrew all charges against Witherspoon except the summary traffic citation.
Lloyd’s case proceeded to a hearing, where the court heard testimony from Travis Buckshire, state trooper.
Buckshire said he stopped a white 2020 Dodge Ram traveling on New Castle Road near North Duffy Road around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 25. The stop was initiated because a rear brake light was seen to be not functioning.
Witherspoon was driving with Lloyd as a passenger, and Buckshire said he smelled marijuana.
Lloyd indicated to Buckshire that he possessed a marijuana card, but didn’t have it on his person.
Buckshire then testified that another trooper arrived on scene and both individuals were patted down for weapons.
Lloyd informed police that he had a knife, and Buckshire said he removed it from Lloyd’s waistband.
“When I was patting down his groin area, he became very angry and aggressive. I pinned his hand against the vehicle as he was reaching into his waistband and he started swinging his elbows at us,” Buckshire said.
Lloyd refused to comply with officers orders on several occasions, he added.
Buckshire and another officer forced Lloyd to the ground, where he continued resisting.
“I had to threaten to use a taser,” Buckshire said.
No other weapons were found on Lloyd when he was put into custody, but $1,061 in cash and two small rubber bands were found on him.
A search warrant was obtained for the rental vehicle. Police said they found a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun with a full magazine, two bricks of suspected heroin, 12 suspected clonazepam pills, four suspected gabapentin pills, two suspected amphetamine and dextroamphetamine pills, 8.54 grams of suspected powder fentanyl, 16.9 grams of suspected powder cocaine, 11.51 grams of suspected crack cocaine, 4.94 grams of suspected powder heroin, four empty plastic bags, two marijuana joints, a wallet containing $350 and an I.D. for Lloyd, a digital scale, seven cellphones, a dog license and an electric bill addressed to Lloyd.
Kulzer later asked Buckshire why he felt Lloyd should be charged with drug sales. Buckshire replied that the amount and variety of drugs and materials is an indication of dealing.
O’Donnell said he would hold all charges over for the Common Pleas Court.
According to officials, Lloyd is the father of Daniel Charles Lloyd, 20, of Pitcairn, Allegheny County, and his identical twin brother, Charles Daniel Lloyd, 20, of Pittsburgh.
In June, Daniel C. Lloyd was charged with criminal homicide in the case of an Ohio man who was fatally shot in Muddy Creek Township. He was arrested in Detroit on Sept. 16.
While not accused in that case, Charles D. Lloyd, along with Witherspoon, whom police alleged was an accomplice, were charged with felony counts of possessing a gun with an altered serial number and drug sales during a September traffic stop.
In the September case, Witherspoon also was charged with counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and making repairs to an offensive weapon, and Charles D. Lloyd additionally was charged with one felony count of carrying a gun without a license and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.
Earlier this month, Charles D. Lloyd pleaded not guilty to all six charges before District Judge Lewis Stoughton.