Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation have filed criminal charges against three men from Warren and Crawford counties accused of conspiring to distribute and sell cocaine in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendants as Joseph Richard Cieslak Sr., age 54, of Pittsfield; along with Timothy Soliwoda, age 42, and Thomas A. Lindstrom Sr., age 56, both of Spartansburg.
Kelly said the charges are the result of an extensive grand jury investigation focusing on drug trafficking in and around Erie, Warren and Crawford counties.
According to the criminal charges, Cieslak coordinated the sale of large quantities of cocaine to drug dealers and users throughout the region, including sales to Soliwoda and Lindstrom - who allegedly resold smaller quantities to other users.
Kelly said that over the course of the investigation, agents from the Attorney General's Office made numerous controlled cocaine purchases from all three defendants, ranging in size from $200 to $1,500. The drug deliveries allegedly occurred in parking lots and other meeting locations in Erie, Harborcreek Township, Union City and Columbus (Warren County), along with drug purchases at the homes of Lindstrom and Cieslak.
An August 2011 search of Cieslak's home, authorized by the grand jury, resulted in the seizure of approximately one kilo of cocaine - one of the largest drug seizures in Warren County. Agents also seized real estate belonging to Cieslak along with over $8,000 in cash, three Harley Davidson motorcycles, an enclosed motorcycle hauling trailer and another vehicle.
Joseph Richard Cieslak Sr., 54, 10345 Rt. 27, Pittsfield, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, five counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of conspiracy to deliver cocaine, six counts of possession of cocaine and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Timothy Soliwoda, 42, 23731 Byler Road, Spartansburg, is charged with four counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of conspiracy to deliver cocaine and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Thomas A. Lindstrom Sr., 56, 23661 Byler Road, Spartansburg, is charged with seven counts of delivery of cocaine, seven counts of possession of cocaine, one count of conspiracy to deliver cocaine and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
All three defendants surrendered to agents from the Attorney General's Office on Thursday, May 3rd and were preliminarily arraigned before Warren Magisterial District Judge Laura Bauer.
Cieslak was lodged in the Warren County jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.
Soliwoda and Lindstrom were each released on $100,000 unsecured bail.
Preliminary hearings for all three defendants are tentatively scheduled for June 4th before Magisterial District Judge Bauer.
The defendants will be prosecuted in Warren County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Douglas J. Wright of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.
Attorney General Kelly thanked the Erie County District Attorney's Office, Warren County District Attorney's Office, Warren County Sheriff's Office, Warren County Drug Task Force, Youngsville Police Department, Edinboro Police Department, Girard Police Department, Corry Police Department and Vernon Township Police Department for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.