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A fugitive from the Mon Valley who was wanted on drug and related charges was apprehended Saturday while attempting to flee from a house police had surrounded in Smithton.

Deputy sheriffs in Westmoreland County took James Anthony Hayes, 38, into custody that night after one of them aimed a Taser at him as he attempted to run from the back door of 581 Fitz Henry Road in South Huntingdon Township, court records show.

Hayes, who uses addresses in Monessen and the Smithton area, was wanted at the time on separate previous cases, one of which involved a vehicle pursuit Oct. 9, court records indicate.

The deputy sheriffs had gone to 581 Fitz Henry Road after they had received a tip that Hayes was staying there on weekends and receiving assistance from the homeowners, the affidavit states.

A team of deputies was staged nearby until Hayes got out of a rear passenger seat of a vehicle that stopped in front of the house about 9:30 p.m.

The team members were called to surround the house and also block in the vehicle in which Hayes arrived. The deputies also took into custody Jillian Richter, 32, who was wanted on a Westmoreland County bench warrant.

Hayes was charged Saturday with flight to avoid apprehension and possession of drug paraphernalia. District Judge Charles Christner in Rostraver Township placed him in Westmoreland County jail on $50,000 bond.

He also faces charges filed by state police of flight to avoid apprehension, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to notify police about an accident and several traffic violations, court record show.

Those charges stem from accusations that he led deputy sheriffs on a vehicle pursuit Oct. 3 in South Huntingdon Township after they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant. A trooper found Hayes’ car crashed into weeds and abandoned along Smithton Pike, where the officer also found a small amount of marijuana and glass smoking pipes, court documents suggest.

Hayes also was wanted on charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, tampering with evidence and drug possession filed by state police in June.

Those charges stem from a traffic stop in Smithton Borough where police accused Hayes of having more than 3 grams of cocaine hidden in a body cavity. Another 10 grams of the drug were seized from the vehicle, police stated in court records.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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