After responding to an anonymous tip regarding a man with a gun, police took three people into custody. Those three individuals now face charges related to drug trafficking.
Authorities said the incident began late Nov. 30 and extended into the early-morning hours of Dec. 1 at a residence in Altoona. When officers responded to the call, they entered the residence and heard people moving around upstairs. They found an 18-year-old man from Johnstown hiding in a storage area. The police say that, near the man, they found drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana. Reports also say a black sock containing cash was discovered.
Police obtained a search warrant from a magisterial district judge and then collected evidence from the residence. Reports say this included many packets of heroin, a quantity of crack cocaine and .75 pounds of marijuana. Officers also say they recovered paraphernalia, including narcotics packaging materials, scales and pipes. $5,300 in cash and a .38-caliber pistol were taken from the residence as well, according to reports. Officers took the Johnstown man into custody. Two other individuals, residents of the property, were detained as well.
If convicted of the charges against them, the three defendants in this story face enhanced penalties because the residence was within 1,000 feet of a school, which could result in a minimum of two years in prison. However, the potential penalties for any drug charges in Pennsylvania are significant. A criminal defense lawyer working with the individuals in this case may be able to help they combat the charges. After reviewing the evidence gathered as well as the process used to collect the information, that lawyer may be able to point out procedural errors made by investigators, which could lead to the evidence being unusable during a trial.
Source: AltoonaMirror.com, "Three arrested on drug charges at city residence", Kay Stephens, December 02, 2013