2 held on gun, drug charges
MOUNT CARMEL - Two men were jailed early Sunday morning on gun and drug charges stemming from the ongoing investigation into the shooting of a Milton woman.
They are not charged with shooting 20-year-old Salicia Yost.
Rafael Anthony Diroche Jr. and Esteven Rafael Soto were arrested Saturday night in Mount Carmel after police obtained a warrant to search Diroche's apartment.
A state police public information officer wouldn't say Sunday if the two are suspected of shooting Yost but did say that they were being questioned in the matter.
"We don't think the public is at risk," Trooper Matthew Burrows said when asked about the pursuit of the alleged shooter.
Burrows said the investigation is ongoing and offered no further comment.
Yost remains in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, according to a hospital spokesperson.
A passerby found Yost inside a Chevy Sonic about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. It had crashed into a snow mound along Irish Valley Road in Shamokin Township, just west of the tunnel off Route 61, three miles north of Shamokin.
Yost was reportedly alone and incoherent when emergency responders arrived.
The accident scene was cleared, but investigators returned at about 12:40 p.m. and police ordered Irish Valley Road blocked off from Route 61 to Badman Hill Road, a distance of about one mile. It's believed Yost's gunshot injuries weren't discovered until sometime after she was hospitalized, prompting the return of authorities to the crash scene. Metal detectors were reportedly used before the scene was again cleared about 3 p.m.
The focus of the investigation shifted to Mount Carmel late Saturday afternoon, and Diroche and Soto were detained about 4:45 p.m.
State police were issued two additional warrants related to the investigation, according to Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones, but he would not comment on what the warrants were for and why investigators sought them.
Search warrants had previously been issued by Jones for Yost's vehicle and cell phone and for Diroche's apartment.
According to court documents, police allege Diroche was in possession of a .22 caliber Freedom Arms revolver when he and Soto were encountered outside 250 S. Poplar St. on Saturday afternoon. Two additional Black Powder revolvers were allegedly found inside an apartment bedroom. It is also alleged that marijuana, heroin and cocaine prepackaged for resale was found in plain view inside the bedroom.
Diroche, 28, of 250 S. Poplar St., Apt. 3, is charged with persons not to possess firearms, a second-degree felony, and firearms not to be carried without a license, a third-degree felony.
Soto, 30, of 1752 Walton Ave., 6A, Bronx, N.Y., is charged with three counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, all of which are ungraded felonies, one count of persons not to possess firearms, a second-degree felony, and three counts of possession of controlled substances, which are ungraded misdemeanors.
Diroche and Soto were each processed at the Stonington state police station. They were taken to Sunbury and arraigned by Jones via video conference - Diroche about midnight Sunday and Soto less than one hour later.
Both men were being held on $250,000 cash bail.
Soto was remanded to Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury, while Diroche was sent to Snyder County Prison, Selisngrove.
Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony Rosini was at the Stonington station on Sunday. He said troopers continue to investigation but would not comment any further.