Police: Man wanted by U.S. Marshals used brother’s name

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
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KINGSTON — A man who police say was wanted by U.S. Marshals in Scranton was apprehended during a traffic stop early Monday morning.

Police said they spotted a vehicle pull into a parking lot of an office building on Pierce Street at about 2:40 a.m. Police noted the office building was closed and kept watch of the vehicle, which pulled out of the lot and drove to Turkey Hill on Pierce Street.

An officer began a conversation with the driver and passenger who they allege used other names to identify themselves. Police also allegedly found crack cocaine in the vehicle.

The male passenger identified himself as Simon Ceprish and the female driver used another name, police allege.

Police were able to identify Ceprish by his true name, Thomas Ceprish, 36, who was wanted by U.S. Marshals, according to the criminal complaints.

Federal court records say Ceprish and his brother, Simon Ceprish, were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Scranton on drug trafficking charges in March 2014.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged the two brothers distributed cocaine in Luzerne County between January 2008 and April 2013.

Thomas Ceprish was sentenced to serve four years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was released from custody on May 19, 2017, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Thomas Ceprish was wanted on violations while on supervised release, federal court records say.

Simon Ceprish was sentenced to two years probation.

Police identified the female driver as Tyla Marie Griffin, 29, of East Green Street, Nanticoke.

A glass pipe commonly used to smoke crack cocaine was allegedly found in a cigarette pack and numerous plastic bags with corners ripped were throughout the vehicle, police allege.

While detained at police headquarters, police allege Griffin attempted to conceal a glass pipe in a bench and she threw a prisoner transport belt against a wall, damaging the handcuffs on the belt, the complaints say.

Ceprish and Griffin were arraigned by District Judge Thomas Malloy in Luzerne County Central Court.

Ceprish was charged with false identification to law enforcement and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bail was set at $5,000 unsecured and was transferred to the custody of federal authorities.

Griffin was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and institutional vandalism. She was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail.

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By Ed Lewis

[email protected]