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PA Priest Faces Cocaine Possession Charges

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Roman Catholic priest from northeastern Pennsylvania is facing drug possession charges after police say he was caught buying cocaine in Philadelphia. Philadelphia police said Friday that 50-year-old James B. Shimsky, a priest in the Diocese of Scranton, was arrested last month.

Narcotics officers said they saw a man in a Jeep engage in a drug transaction the morning of Jan. 30 on a North Philadelphia street. Police said they stopped the vehicle and found a small amount of cocaine inside.

Diocesan spokesman William Genello said Shimsky is pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Scott Township, Lackawanna County, and has been on a leave of absence since his arrest.

A phone listing for Shimsky could not be found and he couldn't be reached for comment.


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