Log In

Reset Password

Police: Lehighton couple had horse tranquilizer

A Lehighton couple faces drug charges after they were found to be in possession of a horse tranquilizer and methamphetamine.

Pennsylvania State Police at Lehighton said Holly Koch, 28, was standing outside a room at Mooney’s Motel parking lot in Franklin Township with the door open on April 17.

Koch was saying something to Trooper Michael Sofranko and appeared to be filming him with a black cellphone in her hands.

Sofranko was aware of felony charges against Koch on April 16, so he approached her as she was still filming him with her cellphone and advised her of the active warrant, and she was taken into custody.

The door to the room was open, and it appeared someone might be inside. While taking Koch into custody, she began to yell for “Shawn.” The man, identified as Shawn Neff, 36, came to the door and asked what was going on. Sofranko explained the outstanding warrant for his girlfriend, Koch.

As Sofranko took Koch into custody, her phone was placed on the ground. Officer Christopher Lekka from the Franklin Township Police Department stayed with Neff while Sofranko placed Koch in his patrol vehicle.

Sofranko heard Lekka say, “don’t touch the knife.” A knife was lying on the ground.

Lekka detained Neff, who had numerous banded bundles of blue glassine baggies.

Two large rubbed banded bundles each contained three separate bundles of blue glassine baggies packed in separate small Ziplock bags stamped “Lottery” in black below a keystone symbol later found to be 80 baggies. Another pocket knife was found in Neff’s left pocket.

Neff said the contraband seized from him was xylazine, a horse tranquilizer, which has been known to cause a large number of fatal overdoses and is not reversible by naloxone.

A search warrant resulted in the seizure of an additional 500 baggies of similar packaging containing a controlled substance suspected to be xylazine. Other controlled substances consisting of methamphetamine, unknown pills and a large amount of paraphernalia were also seized that included several scales and scale calibration weights. In addition, an area in the room was determined to be a packaging area and was set up to fill and deliver controlled substances. A total of 103 blue glassine baggies of similar stamps, a large amount of packaging materials and tools used to fill baggies were seized.

Both face charges of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not registered; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, and are currently incarcerated in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000 bail.

In a separate case, Koch also faces charges of DUI: Controlled substance; endangering welfare of children; careless driving; operating vehicle without valid inspection; and have improper muffler, for which she is jailed in lieu of $5,000 straight bail.