Somerset woman heads to trial, accused of having heroin at preschool

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Sep. 14—SOMERSET, Pa. — A Hooversville woman will stand trial, accused of being in possession of heroin at a Somerset preschool where she cared for 10 children ages three to five, authorities said.

Shannon Marie Berkebile, 36, of the 1100 block of Whistler Road, waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before District Judge Kenneth Johnson, of Somerset.

According to a complaint affidavit, Somerset Borough police were called to ABC Review Preschool, at 700 Cannell Drive, on May 25 for a report of an employee with drug paraphernalia.

When police arrived, they allegedly found Berkebile in possession of 12 stamp bags of heroine, empty packaging and straws, the affidavit said.

Police said Berkebile admitted to being under the influence of heroin when they arrested her. She is charged with 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia.

"Certainly we are continuing to investigating this matter further in order to determine where the defendant allegedly obtained the hardcore drugs," Molly Metzgar, acting Somerset County district attorney, said.

Authorities are testing the heroin for fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Berkebile is free on bond.