MARION HEIGHTS - A Marion Heights man found in possession of $1,700 worth of heroin, $400 in cash and an assortment of drug paraphernalia during a routine home visit by county adult probation officers was taken into custody Monday.

Mitchell Earl Shields, 21, of 553 E. Melrose St., was nabbed at about 12:30 p.m. by Mount Carmel Patrolman Kelly Campbell and probation officer Dave Wondoloski while he attempted to exit the back door at his residence.

Campbell, Wondoloski and probation officer Andy Charnosky arrived at the defendant's home several minutes earlier to conduct a visit because Shields had recently changed his address.

Authorities attempted to make contact with Shields for several minutes, but he failed to answer the door. A short time later, officers observed Shields in the second-story bedroom window before surprising him while he exited the back of the residence.

Upon being apprehended, police said Shields admitted to opiate use and said he couldn't pass a drug test.

During a search of the home, Campbell, Wondoloski and Charnosky discovered 67 bags of heroin with a street value of approximately $1,700, hypodermic needles, a black pouch, prescription bottle, spoon, cotton and $400 in cash in Shields' bathroom.

All the heroin was pre-packaged in yellow glassine bags, police reported.

Shields, who cooperated with authorities, told probation officers he was selling the bundles of heroin cheaper than everyone else.

Mount Carmel Township Patrolman David Stamets Jr., a member of the Northumberland-Montour Drug Task Force, charged Shields with a felony of possession with intent to deliver heroin and two misdemeanors of possession of heroin and possession or use of drug paraphernalia.

Shields, who was transported to Mount Carmel Township Police Station in Atlas, was arraigned by video at 3 p.m. Monday by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones of Mount Carmel and committed to Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

He was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.