Police: Disabled vehicle on interstate contained half pound of methamphetamine

Nov. 29—HAYFIELD TOWNSHIP — What started as a check of a vehicle disabled alongside Interstate 79 on Friday evening ended with Pennsylvania State Police charging three people after finding about a half-pound of methamphetamine, a sawed-off rifle, and $4,000 in cash, according to a police press release.

Todd Andrew McMillen, 43, of Erie; Janessa Precious Tekotte, 24, of Oil City; and James Douglas Franklin, 29, of Oil City were arraigned Saturday before Magisterial District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

The three people facing charges were in a Dodge Ram 1500 that was stopped along the southbound lanes of I-79 near Milepost 156 when police stopped to investigate at about 5 p.m., according to the press release. Responding troopers from the Meadville barracks determined the group had provided false names and were facing multiple arrest warrants. One passenger was carrying drugs and related paraphernalia, according to police.

After the three occupants were taken to the Meadville barracks for interviews, a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of the meth, cash, rifle and additional drug paraphernalia, according to police.

McMillen faces felony charges of possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver, carrying a loaded weapon and possession of firearm prohibited. He also faces misdemeanor charges of making repairs to or selling an offensive weapon and providing false identification to law enforcement and summary charges of operating a vehicle without required financial responsibility and operating privileges suspended, sixth or subsequent offense.

Tekotte faces felony charges of possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver, carrying a loaded weapon, and making repairs to or selling an offensive weapon.

Franklin faces felony charges of possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver, possession of firearm prohibited and carrying a loaded weapon. He also faces misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, making repairs to or selling an offensive weapon, and tampering with physical evidence.

All three defendants were scheduled for preliminary hearings before Zilhaver on Dec. 9.

McMillen and Franklin remain in Crawford County jail in lieu of $65,000 each while bail for Tekotte was set at $40,000.

Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.