Pubdate: Sat, 07 Oct 2006
Source: Altoona Mirror (PA)
Copyright: 2006 Altoona Mirror
Author: Mark Leberfinger
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our 
editors may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who 
have not been convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise 
public figures or officials.


Parasites continue to feed on Altoona, state Attorney General Tom 
Corbett said Monday.

The parasites are the "city" dealers, in this case from Brooklyn, 
N.Y., who peddle heroin and cocaine in Blair County.

Two Brooklyn men charged in connection with an August raid on 
Lexington Avenue were arrested again Monday during a countywide drug bust.

[Names redacted] were sent back to Blair County Prison after their 

Corbett said he plans to work with the U.S. Attorney for Brooklyn and 
provide information gained during [Names redacted] prosecutions.

"Maybe they can go after the source, but we can't," he said.

Thirty-three people were in custody by midafternoon Monday. An 
additional 18 suspects still are at large.

The arrests culminate a six-month investigation into street- and 
mid-level dealing in the county, authorities said.

District Attorney Richard Consiglio said street- and mid-level 
arrests make a difference.

"These street-level and mid-level dealers certainly help, allow this 
stuff to come in," he said. "They are the ones who facilitate the 
upper-level dealers."

One suspected dealer Monday received what could be a rare breath of 
freedom, albeit with handcuffs, a waist belt and leg irons.

[Name redacted], 28, of Altoona is facing homicide charges in Cambria 
County for the April 27 death of James C. Tucker IV on Blandburg 
Mountain, a drug-related murder, authorities say.

[Name redacted] sold crack cocaine to an undercover informant March 7 
and April 18, court documents state.

He was arraigned about 9:30 a.m. by Magisterial District Judge Joseph 
L. Moran, who set bail at $10,000 cash.

"I'm not going anywhere," [Name redacted] said.

He was returned to Cambria County Prison, where he has been lodged 
without bail since his May 8 arrest.

The raid began about 6:30 a.m. with more than 100 officers and state 
drug agents receiving a briefing at the Frankstown National Guard Armory.

The first "target" of the raid arrived at the armory for processing 
about 40 minutes later.

Using informants, Blair County Drug Task Force agents bought heroin, 
crack and powder cocaine, marijuana and OxyContin during their 
investigation, authorities said.

At least two parents of suspected dealers each brought $10,000 cash 
to Central Court so they could post bail for their children.

Most of those arrested -- 30 suspects -- are from Altoona, police 
said. Other suspects are from Duncansville, Hollidaysburg and Tipton.

Only one incident was reported during the morning sweep. [Name 
redacted] tried to hide his brother, [Name redacted], in his Seventh 
Street apartment and away from arresting officers, said Randy 
Feathers, regional director for the attorney general's Bureau of 
Narcotics Investigation.

[Name redacted] of 2081/2 Seventh St. was wanted on heroin charges.

[Name redacted] of 2061/2 Seventh St. was arrested on hindering 
apprehension, harboring a fugitive and resisting arrest charges, Feathers said.

"We're focusing on people who help these drug dealers," Feathers said.

The county jail population was at an all-time high with 335 inmates 
after a Sept. 26 heroin sweep. Warden Donald Ott said he was able to 
get the population, through releases, down to 313 inmates by 8 a.m. Monday.

By mid-Monday, the prison population stood at 328, Ott said.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Oct. 11 before Moran and 
Magisterial District Judge Todd F. Kelly.
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