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More charges for man accused in drug death

Published January 12. 2018 11:12PM

A Barnesville man awaiting trial in the drug-related death of Alexandria Sienkiewicz, 23, in 2016, was picked up by Hazleton City Police on Jan. 12 and now faces more drug charges.

Kyle Merenda, 23, was a passenger in a silver Pontiac Sunfire that came to the attention of police at 9:47 a.m.

The car and its three occupants were reported to police as being suspicious after they sat a considerable amount of time in front of a business on South Poplar Street.

Businesses in the area have recently been the targets of robberies.

When officers approached the car, it was easy to see a large amount of cash spread across the driver’s lap.

He was identified as Derek Siniard, 23, of Shamokin. On the back seat of the car, next to Merenda, was a scale, also in plain sight. All three occupants were made to step out of the vehicle so officers could conduct searches on their persons and the car.

The car search turned up a clear plastic case containing marijuana, prescription drugs, crystal methamphetamine and three bags of heroin; three scales; a blue book bag filled with narcotics baggies; three ledgers; a tin container with narcotics; and $2,280 in cash.

Siniard was found to have a packet of suspected crack in his underwear.

He was charged with five felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one misdemeanor count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver.

Merenda had two syringes and a black bag filled with seven bricks (350 bags) of heroin, methamphetamine, Suboxone, lorazepam, clonazepam and alprazolam in his possession.

He was charged with three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one misdemeanor count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

Bail for both men was set at $50,000 percentage, which they were unable to post. Merenda and Siniard were both taken to the Luzerne County Prison.

Merenda was one of three people charged in the April 2, 2016, death of Sienkiewicz of Tamaqua.

She was found dead in her bedroom with a needle sticking out of her arm. Schuylkill County Coroner David Moylan ruled her cause of death as acute fentanyl toxicity.

Police charged Merenda and two other people in the death.

In that case, he faces charges of drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, dealing in unlawful activity, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of a controlled substance. Merenda waived those charges to court and is awaiting trial in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas.

He was released from the Schuylkill County Prison on March 22, 2017, after posting $20,000 bail.

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