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CHAMBERSBURG (Sept. 10, 2019) — A fight in which a local came out of bloodied and bruised Friday led not only to her assailants arrest on assault charges, but to a drug bust that netted 418 grams of marijuana.

According to court documents, Chambersburg police were called to the 100 block of Kennedy Street at about 7 p.m. for a reported fight. As police pulled up, Paul Saurmaine Rivers, 28, approached officers and told them “you’re here for me.”

Police found Tanya Johnson, 33, sitting on a nearby front porch. Her right arm was bleeding, police said, there was blood on her face and a bruise was starting to form on her forehead.

Police said witnesses described a fight in which Rivers allegedly threw Johnson on the ground, causing her to momentarily lose consciousness. Witnesses also reported seeing Rivers punch Johnson in the face several times while she was on the ground.

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While investigating the assault, officers smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the house.

Police said Johnson did not want police to arrest Rivers, and she stayed outside on the porch. While police were still there, Johnson’s brother collected her children, locked the house up and took the ket when he left.

In spite of Johnson’s protests about Rivers arrest, police took him into custody. At the station, police read his Miranda rights to Rivers and he agreed to talk to them. He told police there was marijuana in the house, but insisted it was not his. He said there was also several thousand dollars in the house.

Rivers claimed the marijuana belonged to Johnson and could be found in her upstairs bedroom. He told police he sleeps on a couch downstairs.

Search Warrant Necessary

Back at the Kennedy Street residence, police asked Johnson if they could search the house. She agreed, at first. Then she changed her mind, “with a neighbor’s help” police said.

Police quickly asked a judge for a search warrant. By the time an officer got the signed warrant to the scene, Johnson had left with the helpful neighbor to make a phone call.

With no one at home and the doors locked, police and a police dog, K9 Mattis, entered the house through a back door. Mattis hit on two locations in the house, a bedroom on the second floor and a chair in the attic. A large plastic bag of marijuana was located behind the dresser in the bedroom. The bag had several smaller baggies of marijuana inside, packaged for sale.


A black backpack contained digital scales, a grinder, and various packaging supplies. It also had an empty blue bag inside and more marijuana.

Back downstairs, an officer found a wooden box containing drug paraphernalia.

Police recovered a total of 418 grams of marijuana, plus the packaging supplies and drug paraphernalia.

Both Rivers and Johnson are in Franklin County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bail, this week. Each face felony manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. Rivers also faces simple assault and harassment charges. His bail is $25,000 on those charges.

Their preliminary hearings will take place Sept. 17 in Franklin County Magisterial District Court.

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The Exchange Club of Chambersburg is sponsoring a Designer Handbag Bingo on September 22 to benefit the education and prevention of child abuse in Franklin County.

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