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Man wanted in Pa. arrested in Berkeley Co.

February 22, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A convicted felon wanted by Franklin County, Pa., authorities because he failed to appear for a Jan. 3 sentencing was found Wednesday hiding in a bedroom closet at a Berkeley County home, where police discovered 50 bags of crack cocaine and weapons, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Considered a fugitive from justice, Joshua Jay Berkey, 25, of 223 S. Potomac St. in Waynesboro, Pa., was being held without bond in Eastern Regional Jail.

Berkey was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, according to records.

Berkey was convicted in a 2004 armed robbery in Mercersburg, Pa., and sentenced in absentia to 4 1/2 to 10 years in prison for first-degree felony robbery when he failed to appear for the hearing, according to records. He entered a guilty plea on Sept. 7, 2006, to the March 4, 2004, robbery of two employees of Jane's Market in Mercersburg, according to records.

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West Virginia State Police Trooper D.S. See said in a complaint Wednesday that he and a Deputy U.S. Marshal found Berkey at 513 Railroad Drive, where the officer initially went to find another person of interest.

That individual was not at the residence, but See said they were allowed inside to search the residence, then led to believe by one of the residents that the person was upstairs.

Upon entering an upstairs bedroom, See said he saw Berkey hiding behind clothes hanging in a closet, and a search of the room led to the discovery of a 9 mm handgun, 9 mm Tech nine assault style handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle. All three weapons contained loaded magazines, See said.

Authorities also found several boxes of ammunition and a silencer for the weapons in a gray backpack on the floor near where Berkey was found hiding, See said.

In addition to the 50 bags of crack cocaine estimated to have a street value of $1,000, police also found digital scales. Ten tablets of HydroMorphone, a narcotic, and two small bags of crack cocaine were found in a purse belonging to Berkey's girlfriend, Lindsay Diane Wilhelm, police said.

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