Press Release

Attorney General Shapiro announces drug charges against 37 in Blair County

January 20, 2017 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges have been filed against 37 people accused of distributing or possessing illegal drugs in Blair County.

The charges are the culmination of a yearlong cooperative investigation between the Office of Attorney General, the Blair County Drug Task Force and the Altoona Police Department. The investigation primarily focused on the distribution of heroin and prescription drugs in Blair County. Molly, Psilocybin mushrooms and other drugs were also being sold by certain people identified in this investigation.

Agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation partnered with investigators from the Blair County Drug Task Force, the Blair County District Attorney’s Office and the Altoona Police Department on the joint investigation. Law enforcement officials used various tools, including surveillance techniques and undercover purchases.

Over the course of the investigation, investigators made a series of controlled purchases, utilizing confidential informants and undercover officers and agents. Controlled purchases were made in Altoona and surrounding municipalities. The investigation is ongoing; more arrests are expected.

Attorney General Shapiro thanked the following agencies for their participation in this investigation: Altoona Police, the Blair County Sheriff’s Department, the office of Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio, Pennsylvania State Probation and Parole, the Blair County Drug Task Force and Pennsylvania State Police.

“The close cooperation of prosecutors and agents from the Office of Attorney General with local police and law enforcement in Blair County led to today’s result: the filing of charges against dozens of accused dealers,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Dealers don’t care about municipal boundaries, and neither can we. Law enforcement cooperation today made Altoona and Blair County safer, but we’re not done.”

Additionally, Attorney General Shapiro thanked Operation Our Town for its support. Operation Our Town is an organization in Blair County with a mission of supporting the fight against drugs and violent crime. Individuals with drug information can contact the Operation Our Town “Push Out the Pusher” hotline at 814-693-3020.

The defendants are being sought on active arrest warrants. They will be preliminarily arraigned before Blair County Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller and prosecuted by DA Consiglio’s office.

The following is a list of people charged, their last known addresses and the charges they face:

  • A 17-year-old, of the 500 block of 4th Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).
  • Tiffany Bott, 32, of the 300 block of 4th St., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (tramadol).
  • Terry Bott, 34, of the 300 block of 4th St., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (tramadol).
  • Richard James Walter III, 37, of the 1400 block of 18th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Kari Ellis, 47, of the 100 block of 23rd Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Rakim Johnson, 20, of the 100 block of 2nd Ave., Altoona, is charged with five counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance, four counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia, felony possession of firearms and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Bridgette White, 29, of the 2300 block of 11th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, theft and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Tonia McConnell, 47, of the 1300 block of North 4th Ave., Altoona, is charged with four counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as two counts of criminal conspiracy (heroin/oxycodone/suboxone).
  • Tricia Weatherwalk, 32, of the 2300 block of 5th Ave., Altoona, is charged with three counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (suboxone/molly).
  • Eric Wright, 32, of the 2100 block of West Chestnut Ave., Altoona, is charged with six counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).
  • Ryan McKenna, 30, of the 1700 block of 11th St., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).
  • David Ball, 41, of the 300 block of 60th St., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (lorazepam).
  • Keith Kyle, 31, of the 2600 block of Walnut Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (suboxone).
  • Matthew Mickey, 34, of the 300 block of North 6th Ave., Altoona, is charged with three counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (suboxone).
  • Brad Whitfield, 28, of the 300 block of 7th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (oxycodone).
  • Brenton Ross, 46, of the 1100 block of South 10th St., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Zachary Palladini, 25, of the 2200 block of 6th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Joseph Turek, 59, of the 1600 block of 11th St., Altoona, is charged with three counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (suboxone).
  • Justin Martin, 35, of the 20000 block of 4th St., Dudley, Huntingdon County, is charged with four counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Aliyah Martin, 21, of the first block of West Halley St., Mount Union, Huntingdon County, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Jamyle Snead, 38, of the 200 block of East Bell Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • John Burns, 20, of the 200 block of 5th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Nicole Dale, 40, of the 300 block of Guernsey Drive, Duncansville, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (methadone).
  • Berkely Boynton, 38, of the 100 block of 2nd Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).
  • Jessica Dennis, 30, of the 1000 block of 4th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (methadone/ativan).
  • Rose Jones, 40, of the 600 block of Sprinkle Ave., Altoona, is charged with three counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as two counts of criminal conspiracy (methadone/ativan/percocet).
  • Ronald Harris, 38, of the 300 block of 21st Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (oxycodone).
  • Brandon Keller, 41, of the 1200 block of 13th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (alprazolam).
  • Ashley Ballos, 28, of the 600 block of 5th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (suboxone).
  • Zachary Bookhamer, 23, of the 100 block of South 5th Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Carli Sines, 23, of the 2700 block of Fairway Drive, Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Alicia Zelanko, 37, of the 300 block of 60th St., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (mushrooms).
  • Danielle Rightenour, 32, of the 1200 block of South 27th St., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Bryan Brown, 48, of the 800 block of 1st Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (oxycodone/roxicet).
  • Daniel Caltrider, 35, of the 1200 block of 16th Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (heroin).
  • Jennifer Wilkes, 41, of the 1200 block of North 4th Ave., Altoona, is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one count of criminal conspiracy (marijuana).
  • Christopher Lostaglia, 42, of the 1200 block of North 4th Ave., Altoona, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy (marijuana).

Anyone who witnesses a drug deal in their neighborhood or suspects 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.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

# # #