Pa. mayor faces drug charges in Va.

Staff report


The mayor of Jackson Center, Pa., and another man are facing felony drug charges in Virginia after a traffic stop in Bland County, Va.

The Bland County Sheriff’s department confirmed a deputy found approximately 10 pounds of marijuana inside the men’s vehicle after the March 15 stop on Interstate 77. The marijuana’s street value is $35,000, police said.

According to the Bland County Sheriff’s Office, Joseph Charles Ferlin, 45, Jackson Center’s mayor; and Raymond Glenn Turner Jr. 50, of Grove City, Pa., were arrested and held in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin, Va.

Police said Ferlin was driving a 2007 Chrysler sedan north on I-77 at noon when the deputy stopped him for going 79 mph in a 70-mph zone.

Ferlin posted $50,000 bond March 16. He was allowed to leave Virginia, the General District Court in Bland County said. He could not be reached to comment Monday.

Turner was still in jail Monday, the jail said.

Both men are to appear in the court again for preliminary hearings Sept. 7.

Ferlin became mayor of the borough, which has a population of 220, in November 2009. He was a write-in candidate. His term is over at the end of this year.

According to a candidates list with the Mercer County Board of Elections, he is not running again. There are no candidates for mayor in the borough.

Borough council president Jon Ramsay also could not be reached.

Borough secretary Debbi Schiestle said borough officials have consulted with the county elections board, and Ferlin can retain his post in lieu of a conviction.

Schiestle said she knows Ferlin well, having grown up with him in Jackson Center.

She said she has not spoken with him since his arrest.

“My personal opinion: As long as he does his job as expected, I don’t have a problem with him staying on,” she said.

“As long as it doesn’t affect the borough,” she said. “If he’s convicted, that’s another story.”

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