Elder Milliard waives preliminary hearing for new charges

JOHNSONBURG - Francis Anthony Milliard, 54, of Ridgway, currently incarcerated on arson and arson-related charges for his alleged role in setting two Elk County house fires, as well as charges of attempted murder and assault stemming from the beating of a Ridgway man, was in District Court in Johnsonburg Wednesday where he waived his preliminary hearing on new charges of felony firearm possession and violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetics Act (CSDDCA). The new charges consist of two counts of felony possession of a firearm by a person prohibited due to conviction, as well as a felony charge of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, and misdemeanors of intent to possess controlled substance by person not registered and use/possession of drug paraphernalia. The new charges against Milliard, filed on Aug. 28, are the result of search warrants executed by authorities at Milliard's 76 Long Level Rd. residence. According to affidavits, on Aug. 10, in the course of executing a search warrant on Milliard's 76 Long Level Rd. residence, law enforcement officials recovered two firearms, a Beretta Tomcat 32 automatic pistol, a Stevens Model 820 B Shotgun, and approximately 1,135 rounds of assorted ammunition. The affidavit states that as Milliard has previous convictions for burglary and CSDDCA violations, he is prohibited under state law from possessing firearms. According to the affidavit, this formed the basis for the firearm charges.The drug charges levied against Milliard are the result of a separate search warrant executed on his home on Aug. 9 in which authorities seized a large quantity of packaged marijuana, marijuana seeds, drug paraphernalia for the purpose of processing marijuana, and items typically used in facilitating transactions, including a cell phone. The Aug. 9 search and seizure at Milliard's home came after police officers conducting an aerial search as part of a marijuana eradication operation in the area of Long Level Road discovered a "large marijuana plant growing near the edge of the yard" at the 76 Long Level Rd. residence. Milliard was present at Judge King's Johnsonburg office Wednesday, where he proceeded to waive his right to a preliminary hearing for the new charges in a closed courtroom. Bail in the new charges was set at a combined $20,000 monetary, secured. As a result of his waiving his preliminary hearing Wednesday, the new charges have been officially waived to court and Milliard is scheduled to answer to them in a formal arraignment scheduled for Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Elk County Courthouse.