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Tyrone drug investigation turns up sexual predator from Colorado

Tyrone Borough Police along with the Blair County Drug Task Force concluded a month-long investigation into drug dealing at a residence on Columbia Avenue by serving a search warrant the address on Wednesday evening and in the process discovered an out-of-state fugitive.
Tyrone Police Chief Joseph Beachem said that the search warrant was served at 1752 Columbia rear at 9:45 p.m. on May 4.
Authorities found the home unoccupied but while they were conducting the search, 22-year-old Matthew Damico returned home with another man who had been staying at the address.
Beachem said Damico was taken into custody immediately while the other man fled the scene and was caught by officers outside the residence. The man identified himself as Malik Robinson from New York. Beachem revealed the man, also known as “J” was in possession of $1,200 in cash. Police were able to determine Malik Robinson was not the man’s name.
After several hours of investigative work, the man was identified as 26-year-old James J. Riley who turned out to be a fugitive wanted by the state of Colorado on a parole warrant as a sexually violent predator.
“Attacking the drug problem is going to continue to be a focus,” said Beachem. “When you can take in someone like Mr. Riley who has been labeled as a sexual predator and he’s been hiding in your community, it is a plus to get him out of here.
“When you are turning over stones, you are going to find things,” said Beachem. “The focus is the safety of the community whether it’s drugs, other crime or someone like Mr. Riley who is trying to hide anonymously in our community.”
Beachem said the investigation showed Riley had been in the area for at least three weeks to a month. It was the second time in recent weeks that investigations discovered sexual predators who were wanted on parole violations in the Tyrone area. Beachem said he hopes that is an anomaly. He said it’s the first time since he’s been chief there have been two such instances in one year.
Riley was charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia which were found in the house. He was also charged with a second complaint as a fugitive.
Authorities recovered four bags of heroin, a small amount of marijuana, three prescription Suboxone tablets and syringes and other drug paraphernalia.
Damico was charged with possession of those items and he was also arrested regarding charges in two other cases.
According to information provided by Beachem, the charges in the other cases were two counts each of delivery of heroin, possession of heroin and criminal use of a communication facility.
Damico was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Fred B. Miller and placed in the Blair County Prison in lieu of a total of $21,000 straight bail for all three cases.
Riley was arraigned before Judge Miller with bail set at $8,000 straight on the possession case. Chief Beachem noted no bail was set on the fugitive from justice case since it is a non-bailable offense from Colorado. Riley was also taken to be lodged in Blair County Prison.
Beachem said in addition to Tyrone and the drug task force, Bellwood and Hollidaysburg Police assisted in the investigation.