Police: Luzerne ‘Nana’ let youths smoke pot in her kitchen

By Dan Stokes - [email protected]
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LUZERNE — A 57-year old borough resident allegedly allowed a juvenile and young adults to smoke pot in her kitchen “rather than out in the street or driving in a car.”

April Gabriel, of 257 Bennett St., Apt. 3, faces charges for alleged corruption of minors, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, borough police officer Danny Duffy said.

According to an affidavit filed by Duffy:

The officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana while patrolling the 200 block of Bennett Street shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday. He parked his cruiser and walked the block to investigate.

Duffy determined the odor was strongest outside the apartment building at 257. He walked around the side of the building and through an open screen door observed a group of youths, along with Gabriel, sitting around a table in the smoke-filled kitchen.

Duffy identified himself to the crowd. As he did, he observed a male, 21, take something from the table and throw it into a cabinet.

Gabriel allowed Duffy to enter. He explained why he was there, and asked what had been placed in the cabinet. It was retrieved by a 15-year-old, and appeared to be a clear bag containing marijuana.

The kitchen table had ashtrays that contained contraband related to marijuana consumption, and a ‘blunt’ style cigarette in one of the ashtrays, Duffy added.

The other individuals at the table were the 15 year-old, an 18 year-old and a 19 year-old, he wrote.

Duffy asked the 18-year-old’s permission to search the contents of her bag, which she granted. Inside, he said he found a clear bag of marijuana, a plastic container holding a marijuana pipe and two plastic bags that appeared to have marijuana residue.

Gabriel proceeded to tell Duffy that all the teenagers at the table were her grandchildren, but not biologically. They referred to her as “Nana.”

“Gabriel was fully aware of the marijuana being smoked in the kitchen by the group, and told me that she would rather them smoke in there than out on the street or driving in a car,” Duffy wrote.

The 15 year-old was picked up by his biological grandfather. The 18-year-old was picked up by her parents.

No one was taken into custody, Duffy said, but additional charges were pending Sunday.

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By Dan Stokes

[email protected]