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State police in Monroe County have charged Beaver Area School District’s recently resigned athletic director with transporting 22 pounds of marijuana and over 160 amphetamine pills.
State police stopped Patrick Joseph McDanel, 33, of Hopewell Township on Aug. 11 in the eastern Pennsylvania town of Tobyhanna Township. McDanel is facing two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, three misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and summary counts of disregarding a traffic lane and careless driving.
McDanel, who had been employed by Beaver school district since 2012, resigned as Beaver’s athletic director on July 15, according to a district statement by Superintendent Dr. Carrie Rowe sent to BeaverCountian.com in response to inquiries.
Trooper George Tessitore alleged in a charging affidavit that he observed the 2019 silver Nissan Sentra McDanel was driving on I-80 leave its lane and drive onto the shoulder.
Tessitore said he stopped the vehicle and immediately smelled the odor of marijuana as he approached it. He identified the driver as McDanel and the vehicle he was operating as being a one-way rental from Bronx, N.Y., to Pittsburgh.
“Both of these source cities are known to me as areas of high drug/narcotics activity,” the trooper wrote.
“McDanel exhibited nervous behavior as I spoke with him, as well as other indicators of criminal activity detected.”
Tessitore conducted a cause-based search of the vehicle, where he allegedly discovered approximately 22 pounds of marijuana in the trunk.
Inside a backpack on the passenger seat he alleged he found an additional small amount of marijuana, a THC cartridge, 163 amphetamine pills, and “a large amount of United States currency.”
McDanel is free on a $10,000 bond. Court dockets show he is being represented by attorney Joseph Askar of Beaver. A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for Sept. 5 in Monroe County.
The Beaver school district statement read, “Mr. McDanel’s decision to resign was made so that he could relocate to another state where his wife and in-laws reside; his decision to resign and the board’s acceptance of his resignation were made prior to his present legal concerns. Mr. McDanel left his employment with the district in good standing.”
The school statement also said his resignation means there “will be no reason for him to have contact with BASD students, be present on school grounds, or make any future decisions related to (its) athletics programs.”
The Beaver Area School District said it will cooperate with law enforcement in any ongoing investigations.
Patrick Joseph McDanel is the son of Robert Michael McDanel, 63, of Brighton Township, who waived a formal arraignment this week in Beaver County on three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts relating to running a corrupt organization and illegal gambling devices.
Officers with the state Attorney General’s Office seized nearly $3.5 million in cash from the elder McDanel’s home in May 2018.
BeaverCountian.com contributing editor Lori Boone contributed to this report.