Man facing drug charges asks for lower bail

A Houtzdale man who allegedly sold cocaine to an informant is asking for his bail to be lowered so he can be released.

Robert Stephen Gavlak, II, 27, was charged with three felony counts of manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and a felony count of criminal use of communication facility after an incident Dec. 21 in Houtzdale borough. He remains incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bail.

During motions court in Clearfield County on Tuesday, attorney Curtis Irwin asked Judge Paul Cherry to lower Gavlak’s bail to an amount he can afford. He stated that Gavlak was not a flight risk.

Assistant District Attorney Jendi Schwab stated that the commonwealth was opposed to this. She noted that he was not complying with the conditions of his bail on previous cases because several of his recent offenses overlap.

In February, Gavlak pleaded guilty in one of those cases to theft for taking money from an open cash drawer at the Dollar General store in Houtzdale on Dec. 22. At that time he was sentenced to 30 days to one year in jail and three years probation. Cherry denied the motion.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, in the drug case, an undercover agent asked a confidential informant to contact Todd Anderson to see if he could sell them cocaine. They made arrangements for the informant to meet Gavlak, Anderson’s brother-in-law at a Houtzdale residence. The informant was told to contact Gavlak regarding a time for the meeting.

Undercover officers, the agent and the informant arrived at the residence at 3:43 p.m. The agent watched as the informant entered the home just before Gavlak arrived in a blue Mitsubishi. The officers saw Gavlak go into the residence. Shortly after, the informant returned to his or her vehicle and turned over a plastic bag of suspected cocaine to the undercover agent.

The informant told police he or she was invited into Gavlak’s room in the basement and gave Gavlak $300 for the bag of a powdered substance. Later it tested positive for cocaine, according to the complaint.

Both Anderson, 45, and his wife, Catherine Renee Anderson, 34, are charged with selling drugs.