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Texting while driving

Published February 15. 2013 05:03PM

A Hazleton woman has been cited by McAdoo police following a texting incident on July 2, 2012.

Patrolman William Curilla was monitoring traffic that day when he observed a woman texting while driving a tan 1998 Ford Escort. The officer initiated a traffic stop, observing the two occupants making several sudden movements before the Escort came to a stop.

As Curilla asked for the female driver's license and registration, he noted a strong odor of marijuana and asked the occupants if either of them had been smoking weed. The passenger, later identified as Gerard Graham, admitted to smoking earlier, but claimed there were no drugs in the car.

The driver was identified as Rachel Rebarchick, 19, of First Street, Hazleton, who gave officers permission to search the vehicle. A scale and several small plastic bags were found inside the glove compartment. A plastic bag containing 10 smaller bags and a quantity of marijuana were found on the side of the roadway, not far from the vehicle. Rebarchick and Graham both said the drugs were the property of Graham.

Rebarchick admitted to texting while driving and was released. Graham was transported to the police station.

A short time later, a witness contacted police and reported that Rebarchick was the person who threw the bag of marijuana out of the car.

She was cited for criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and texting while driving.

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