OC man held on drug, weapons charges

An Oil City man was held for court Wednesday on drug and weapons charges following a preliminary hearing in Venango County Central Court.

Gregory Rex, 49, is charged with one count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, a felony count of possession of firearm prohibited and one count of firearms not to be carried without a license.

Assistant district attorney Justin Fleeger, who is prosecuting the case, began Wednesday’s hearing in front of district judge Andrew Fish by questioning Rex’s sister, Kelli Galkowski, as a witness.

Fleeger’s questioning pertained to the early morning hours of April 19, when Galkowski called police to her home in the 300 block of Wilson Avenue about 1:45 a.m because Rex would not leave her property.

By the time police arrived, Rex, who Galkowski said had been living in the home with her for four or five months, had already fled the scene.

Officers were again called to the residence later that same morning, Galkowski said, because she found a pistol in Rex’s backpack that was on her porch. Galkowski said she was upset because one of her children could have gotten into the backpack.

During the course of the first two interactions with police, Galkowski told the officers about marijuana plants that she recently found in her locked attic, to which Rex had exclusive access.

After Oil City police chief Bob Wenner was briefed on the situation later that morning, Galkowski said he contacted her about searching the residence for the marijuana.

It was at that point that Galkowski said she signed a consent form to allow police to search the home.

Wenner, who was the second witness questioned during Wednesday’s hearing, said he could immediately smell the odor of marijuana as he and other officers entered the attic that day.

He went on to say they found items such as light fixtures, plastic coverings, a pile of loose marijuana leaves, two large totes of soil and about six marijuana plants that were about 2 to 3 feet tall.

Wenner said the items found in the attic were what he considered evidence of an ongoing manufacturing process.

Items relating to the firearm that was found in the backpack were also discovered in the attic, Wenner said during his testimony.

The items included the empty box to a handgun, an extra magazine for a weapon and a partial box of ammunition, Wenner said.

Attorney Jeffrey Misko, who is representing Rex in the case, asked Galkowski to clarify who placed the lock on the attic door, if she had a key to the lock and if the police asked for permission to search the backpack.

Misko also asked Wenner to confirm that Rex did not have a valid permit to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania, as well as to describe exactly how many plants he found and how large they were.

Fish ordered all charges to be held for court at the conclusion of the hearing.