Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Panther Rants exclusive!

We here at Panther Rants pride ourselves in investigative journalism.

From being the first to break the news that Lesean McCoy would be a Pittsburgh Panther to explaining the very reasons why West Virginia is a consistent Amber Alert, Panther Rants is the most accurate media focusing on University of Pittsburgh athletics.

That is why Panther Rants knows that it is important to report news about one of its’ own peers in the University of Pittsburgh media.

Bob Litchenfels (aka Blimphead) has been covering college football recruiting with a specialty of intense focus on underage males from impoverished areas.

From collecting videos to posting photos of sweaty teen boys, Bob has provided an outlet for adoring fans such as Father Jim O’Brian out of the Central Catholic High School Parish to get up close and personal with the future of college football.

But it has been brought to our attention by a poster at PantherDigest.com that Mr. Litchenfels may have a checkered past and we feel it is important for this to be addressed due to the magnitude.

In the following article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and to the shock of this mediocre blogger, Bob Litchenfels is accused of selling contraband to inmates.

Former Indiana prison guards face charges
By Joyce Shannon
TRIBUNE-REVIEW


Four Indiana County prison guards charged with selling contraband to an inmate had been suspended since November, the county warden said Friday.

"I was aware of it from the beginning," said Warden Carol Wilson, adding that jail officials assisted in the investigation. The four have since resigned.

The guards as well as an Indiana borough police dispatcher were declared fugitives recently after warrants could not be served on them. Charges were filed without fanfare in January after a sweep for low-level drug dealers last August sparked the investigation.

Prison guards charged were: Steven Barbus, 31, of 3265 Climax Road, West Wheatfield Township, a part-time corrections officer since October 2001; Troy Mack, 28, of 21 Jones St., Robinson, a part-time corrections officer hired in January 2001 who was later promoted to full-time; Robert Lichtenfels, 29, of 179 Caroline St., Robinson, a corrections medical officer since June 2001; and Richard Harshberger, 35, of 304 Gibson Farm Road, Blacklick Township, a corrections officer since July 1988.

Harshberger's employment termination date was given by county officials as Dec. 9. The employment of the remaining three guards ended between late April and early May.

Dispatcher Tina Marie Lord, 29, of 252 Patchen Road, Montgomery Township, was charged after police discovered she had warned a friend that police may be investigating him.

Lord was the only one Friday who had responded to the warrant for her arrest, entering a plea of not guilty through court-appointed attorney Matthew Budash. She has worked as a police dispatcher since January 2002; her resignation date was Nov. 4, 2002.

The investigation came about after the sweep in August that targeted the Route 22 corridor from Monroeville to Altoona. That investigation began a year earlier.

In April 2002, an undercover drug agent coordinated a buy with a man named John Kanar. The Attorney General's Office contacted Indiana Borough Police and requested a license check of Kanar's vehicle, according to an affidavit.

While he was incarcerated at the state prison in Greensburg, Kanar revealed to agents that Lord had contacted him and warned him that he was being investigated by police.

In October, Lord allegedly confessed to alerting Kanar via her personal computer that his vehicle's registration was run. She was charged with criminal use of a communication facility, hindering apprehension of prosecution, obstruction of justice and reckless endangerment.

Agent Sam Nastari filed the charges against all five. He said the investigation began in October when William Hunt, an inmate who was in the county jail from late August to early September, swore in a notarized, 17-page statement of the criminal violations by the guards.

After gathering information from the inmate, Nastari interviewed the four. All provided written statements attesting to their actions, according to an affidavit.

Harshberger, the apparent ringleader, was implicated by Mack, Lichtenfels and Barbus. Both Barbus and Mack said they had obtained tablets of Percocet, a prescription painkiller, to sell for personal profit. After agents served a search warrant on Harshberger's home, they found hashish, a hash pipe, and a total of about 150 Oxycontin or oxycondone tablets.

Mack also allegedly confessed to stealing items and attempting to buy cocaine from Hunt. He also said he used the cocaine, according to an affidavit.

Hunt said he received Lortab and Vicodin prescription pills, cigarettes and snuff from Lichtenfels, who denied any criminal wrongdoing. However, further interviews continued to implicate him, leading to the charges filed, an affidavit said.

Barbus said he tried to sell four or five tablets of Percocet, which he received from Harshberger, in mid-summer 2002, but was unable to sell them and returned them to Harshberger.

The affidavits indicate that the county district attorney, the warden and deputy warden, county detectives, and the sheriff assisted in the investigation.

Nastari noted he attempted to locate all of the defendants concerning their warrants. Chief Deputy Sheriff David Rostis said it was "just a glitch in the system" that the five hadn't been arraigned.

Wilson declined to say more about the case.

"It's an ongoing investigation. I really don't think it would be proper for me to comment until this is resolved," she said.

Is this the same Bob Litchenfels from Scout Incorporated? Could Scout Inc. have hired a person that was accused of selling drugs to inmates? We attempted to reach Joyce Shannon to verify her story and have yet to receive a return call. Panther Rants will keep you posted.

3 comments:

Bill Burns said...

Wow, great investigative journalism!

Enquiring minds want to know!

Anonymous said...

Washington crosses the Delaware!

Man discovers fire!

Anonymous said...

So, it's been a couple of months. What's the story?