Former RA is charged

Hemlock residents mingle outside their hall, where a resident assistant has been charged with selling drugs and alcohol to freshmen.

Natasha Bazika

Hemlock residents mingle outside their hall, where a resident assistant has been charged with selling drugs and alcohol to freshmen.

Rachel Logan, Copy Editor

Pitt-Johnstown police have charged Carlos Alexis Chavez, 21, of Ligonier, Westmoreland County.

Chavez was charged with providing alcohol and drugs to students, selling or furnishing liquor to minors and manufacturing, delivery or possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.

Also, Chavez was charged with falsely incriminating another person.

Campus police officer Edward Ostrowski said in an affidavit supporting the criminal charges that a student approached him Nov. 6 with allegations against Chavez, who was a resident assistant in Hemlock Hall.

This resident told Ostrowski that she had witnessed Chavez exchanging a pill, supposedly Adderall, for a student’s money in her room.

According to the affidavit, the witness also alleged that Chavez would buy alcohol for any Hemlock resident who requested it. She said that he had bought rum and beer for her. She said those exchanges took place at his car, Ostrowski said in the affidavit.

Ostrowski said he contacted Chavez about the allegations. According to the affidavit, Chavez denied furnishing alcohol or pills, instead saying that he had been targeted by fellow resident assistants. Chavez filled out a false report form at that time, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says Chavez told Ostrowski that he is prescribed the drug Vyvanse for his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ostrowski said he found Chavez’s car Nov. 6 parked outside first-year residence halls. By peeking through the windows, Ostrowski said he could see Chavez’s driver’s license, a box of apple flavored beer, shopping bags from a liquor store, empty cardboard beer boxes and a receipt from a liquor store totaling over $40, according to the affidavit.

Later that evening, Ostrowski said in the affidavit that he interviewed the witness’ roommate, who also was present when Chavez allegedly sold a pill.

She confirmed many details presented by the witness, Ostrowski said in the affidavit. She also said that she had bought vodka from Chavez, and that he had given her the bottle in her room, Ostrowski alleged.

Two other Hemlock residents also spoke to Ostrowski that night, according to the affidavit. Both said that they had bought Adderall from Chavez earlier in the semester.

The first said that they had each bought pills once to help them stay up studying for classes they were falling behind in. The second said she bought a pill one other time from Chavez, the affidavit says.

The second told Ostrowski that she had spoken to several other residents staying up all night, and each had said they were using Adderall from Chavez, according to the affidavit.

At that time, Ostrowski interviewed Chavez again, and advised him of the multiple sources involving him in the crimes. Chavez stated that he indeed was involved, according to Ostrowski.

Chavez said that he used the money from selling his prescription and alcohol to help pay for college, according to Ostrowski. He said he sold approximately eight of his 30 pills a month, starting at the end of last semester. He had furnished alcohol since he turned 21.

Chavez was arraigned Nov. 15 and waived his right to a preliminary hearing at District Justice John W. Barron’s Stonycreek Township office, according to an online docket.

At the arraignment, he was informed of the charges against him: three charges of manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to deliver or manufacture controlled substances and two charges of selling or furnishing liquor to a minor. He was also charged with falsely incriminating another.

Chavez, who is represented by the Cambria County Public Defendant’s office, has been released on $25,000 unsecured bond.

Due to the charges against him, Chavez was released from his position as a resident assistant. He no longer lives in Hemlock Hall, according to Area Coordinator Dominick DiLoreto.

“We’re not sure if we’re hiring a new resident assistant, but if we were, it would be for next semester,” said DiLoreto.

DiLoreto said that there were 46 resident assistants hired in the beginning of the semester. New resident assistants must pass a PA background check.