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Press Release

  • Heroin distribution ring charged in Johnstown and Altoona

    2/14/2017

    HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrests of five persons charged with participating in a heroin distribution ring found in possession of approximately 200 bricks of heroin valued at $100,000. The heroin distribution ring headed by Damon Devine, 40, of Philadelphia, operated in the Johnstown and Altoona areas.

    “Our agents, working with police in Johnstown and Altoona, charged five persons today with drug dealing,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “With these arrests, we were able to get a large quantity of heroin off our streets. The investigation is ongoing. We’re collaborating with local law enforcement, and we’ll relentlessly pursue criminals selling heroin and other drugs in every community across our Commonwealth.”      

    Investigators arrested Devine after agents allege he sold heroin to a confidential informant. Four of Devine’s alleged co-conspirators were also arrested as part of an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the Blair and Cambria County Drug Task Forces, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the police departments in Altoona and Johnstown.

    According to investigators, Devine took the money from the informant, and then directed the informant to obtain 13 bricks, or 650 bags, of heroin from Barbara Tyler. The informant obtained the heroin from Tyler, which led investigators to detain two vehicles and arrest four suspects. Officers and agents also seized $7,952 in cash, along with recovering the buy money utilized for the controlled purchase.

    Information gleaned from the buy/bust operation led investigators to execute a search warrant at 179 Strayer St., Johnstown.  

    As a result of the search of that residence, officers and agents seized approximately 200 bricks of heroin, or 10,000 bags, with a street value of $100,000, 87 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of $8,700, 28 grams of marijuana with a street value of $280, $11,849 in cash and drug paraphernalia.

    The following defendants were arrested as a result of this ongoing investigation:

    Damon Devine, of 1223 N. 60th St., is charged in Blair County with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility. Cambria County charges: possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy.

    Jasmine McGowan, 26, 179 Strayer St., Johnstown, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility. Cambria County charges: possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy.

    Anthony Freiwald, 29, 317 4th Ave., Johnstown, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility.

    Barbara Tyler, 57, of Trenton, N.J., is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility.

    James Everett-Bey, 39, 5611 Hunter St., Philadelphia, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy.

    Individuals who have witnessed a drug deal in their neighborhood or suspect illegal drug activity where they live or work can send an anonymous tip to the Office of Attorney General by texting PADRUGS + YOUR TIP to 847411. Tips may also be submitted electronically here.

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