Man accused of trying to smuggle drugs into jail

From staff reports

A Franklin man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to smuggle heroin into the Venango County jail around 11:40 a.m. Friday.

A criminal complaint filed through district judge Matthew Kirtland’s office said Franklin police were dispatched to the jail for a report of a new intake prisoner possibly having contraband hidden internally.

Police arrived on scene and were informed that during the intake of Justin Steetle, 31, jail staff had located a balloon hidden on his person, the complaint said.

Steetle was then transported to UPMC Northwest and underwent the seizure of three balloons located inside his body. He also informed medical staff that two of the balloons contained heroin, the complaint said.

Steetle is facing two felonies and two misdemeanors related to drug contraband and possession.

The original charges that prompted Steetle’s imprisonment Friday stemmed from an incident in March involving aggravated assault and DUI. He had failed to appear at a pre-trial hearing, and his unsecured bail was revoked, according to online court documents.

He was arraigned before Fish and lodged in the Venango County jail on $15,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled Sept. 5 in Central Court.