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Man picked up on arrest warrant

Published June 14. 2010 05:00PM

Lansford police have picked up a man on whom a warrant was issued.

Robert Mehmeti, 30, last known address 34 W. Ludlow St., Lansford, was picked up by police on June 8 at 2:02 p.m. for an incident which took place on March 6, 2009, on the 200 block of E. Ridge St. Charges were filed by Officer Robert Shubeck. Mehmeti is charged with two counts of driving under the influence (DUI), possession of drug paraphernalia, identity theft, false identification to law enforcement, driving while suspended, required financial responsibility, periods for required lighted lamps, driving without lights to avoid identification or arrest, and exhaust systems, mufflers, and noise control.

He was released on unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 16.

According to an affidavit of probable cause: Shubeck saw a brown Saab and a Jeep parked side-by-side in an area in the 100 block of W. Ridge Street known for drug activity.

Two people were in the Jeep. As Shubeck, watching for signs of illegal drug use, drove past the vehicles, he saw a white male get out of the Jeep and get into the Saab. He pulled over to the curb and turned off his headlights. He saw the Jeep pull out, and the Saab, with no headlights, quickly shoot across Ridge Street and go down Klock's Hill, heading north.

As the Saab drove east into the 200 block of E. Ridge Street, Shubeck heard the loud, and possibly faulty, exhaust system, a violation of the motor vehicle code and a safety concern.

He stopped the Saab and told the operator there was something wrong with his exhaust system. Upon request the driver gave Shubeck his license, which identified him as Besim B. Mehmeti; the driver said that's who he was.

The registration card showed the owner of the car to be a Robert B. Mehmeti. The insurance form listed only a Ford, not a Saab.

When Shubeck asked Mehmeti about the insurance. Mehmeti told him he did not have a policy. Asked to clarify, Mehmeti said his mother did not have insurance on the vehicle and that he just bought it a few days ago and had it inspected. He couldn't say how he had it inspected without insurance.

Shubeck noticed that Mehmeti appeared to be very nervous and that his eyes were watery and his pupils were dilated.

Shubeck's partner, officer Joshua Tom, arrived and Shubeck told Mehmeti he would have to confiscate the inspection certificate from the windshield, and asked him to step out of the vehicle. Mehmeti's gait was unsteady as he got out.

As he placed both hands on the trunk, a small plastic cap fell out from under his jacket sleeve. Tom saw a hypodermic needle sticking out from under Mehmeti's sleeve. Shubeck handcuffed Mehmeti and searched his vehicle. When he went back to Mehmeti, Tom told Shubeck that Mehmeti had told him he had injected heroin just before being stopped by Shubeck.

Mehmeti confirmed that that was true, and said he had injected himself when he got out of the Jeep before driving off down Klock's Hill. Shubeck asked if Mehmeti had turned off his headlights so police wouldn't see him, and Mehmeti said yes.

Shubeck took Mehmeti to St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital in Coaldale, had blood drawn, the took him to the address he asked to go to: 645 E. Patterson St., the same address listed on the driver's license.

Several days later, Officer Jack Soberick said he spoke with Besim Mehmeti about getting a DUI. Soberick said Besim said he did not get a DUI and didn't know what Soberick was talking about and became very argumentative. Soberick said he read Besim the arrest report. Besim still insisted he did not get a DUI.

Shubeck's investigation showed that the man who had been driving the Saab was, in fact, not Besim Mehmeti, but was but was Besim's brother, Robert Mehmeti.

Robert Mehmeti's license at the time was and is suspended. His driving record shows four subsequent convictions for driving with a suspended license. The blood test revealed the presence of opiates, morphine, specifically, in Mehmeti's system.

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