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Magistrate Miller bounds marijuana charges to trial in related two cases

District Magistrate Fred Miller heard testimony Tuesday afternoon in two related cases regarding marijuana distribution in Tyrone.
When the hearings were over, Magistrate Miller believed enough evidence existed against 48-year-old Carla Kay Baker and 37-year-old Kim Eugene Markel to send the charges, which includes distribution of marijuana, into the Blair County Court of Common Pleas.
Late last month, a third individual involved, Christopher Lynn McClellan, 32, of 1360 Pennsylvania Avenue, acted as his own attorney and waived charges and two preliminary hearings.
Both Markel and Baker are free on bail and awaiting the formal arraignment on the charges. McClellan is housed in the Blair County Prison.
Markel is represented by Altoona attorney Thomas Forr and Baker is represented by Lorie Kemps. The newest member to the Blair County District Attorney’s staff, Jennifer Roberts, prosecuted the case for the commonwealth.
According to police affidavits, a confidential police informant contacted the Blair County Drug Task Force and informed he could obtain one pound of marijuana at McClellan’s residence. The informant said he owed McClellan $500 from a prior “front” of a pound of dope he received on a previous occasion. He told police if he paid McClellan the debt, McClellan would “front” him another pound.
On Feb. 8, agents set up the deal and the informant met with McClellan for about five minutes at the Pennsylvania Avenue home to discuss the purchase of a pound of marijuana and the future purchase of two pounds.
Shortly after the meeting, the informant told police McClellan didn’t have the pot with him, but would get it later and phone the informant.
Police said the agreed upon price was $2,000 per pound, plus $150 that McClellan insisted was owed to him instead of the $500.
Later that day, the informant received a phone call from McClellan telling him to come and get the marijuana.
The informant then contacted agents of the Task Force.
About two hours later, the informant went back to the Pennsylvania Avenue home for less then ten minutes, the left with a pound of marijuana in two separate bags. Police said McClellan told the informant that he needed a day’s notice for the two pound delivery and wanted the informant to call him on Feb. 11.
On February 11, the informant contacted McClellan again for the two pound purchase, and the next day, again went to the Pennsylvania Avenue residence and bought the dope for $4,200.
Police field tested the substance and determined it was in fact marijuana and requested a search warrant for McClellan’s residence. Recovered was the $4,200 “buy money” as well as other money, a small amount of marijuana.
Police said the defendant admitted to selling the two pounds of marijuana and indicated he obtained the drugs from Markel.
As a result, police obtained a search warrant on Feb. 12 for the Markel residence and there, found multiple bags of marijuana in approximately one ounce quantities. Police said it was “ready for distribution.”
Additionally, police found numerous prescription tablets contained in plastic bags and some in pill bottles containing the names of other individuals other than Markel, or his girlfriend, Baker, who also lived at the residence. Police said these items appeared to be for distribution also.
Police also said drug paraphernalia was also located inside the house, including baggies, scales, rolling papers, snorting straws and cooking spoons.
Each defendant is charged with numerous felony violations of the Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.