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Authorities crack drug ring that operated in Tyrone

The Blair County Drug Task Force initiated an investigation early last month that culminated in the arrests of seven individuals including two suspects from Tyrone.
The task force investigated a major heroin distribution ring that was operating in Tyrone, Snyder Township and Greenfield Township, according to a press release issued through the Blair County District Attorney’s office on Friday.
The Drug Task Force obtained a search warrant on Thursday for an apartment on Washington Avenue. What they found led to the arrest of five individuals including four men from New York State.
Authorities seized 17.2 grams of brick heroin, $2,300 in cash, drug paraphernalia including a coffee grinder and 500 empty heroin packets.
Agent James Walstrom of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office said what was significant about the evidence seized was the amount of drugs and that it was in an unpackaged rock form. He said the evidence indicates this particular ring was “further up the chain” than what authorities are used to seeing in Blair County.
He also noted authorities have had previous encounters with some of the suspects including two of the New York men and an Altoona man.
The press release about the drug bust said further investigation led to the arrest of two rural Tyrone men. A subsequent consent search resulted in the seizure of 85 packets of heroin.
The two investigations led to a search of a trailer in Greenfield Township. That search led to the seizure of 233 packets of heroin, 16.2 grams of brick heroin, 44 rocks of crack cocaine and a safe.
The total street value of the drugs seized was estimated at $100,000.
Tyrone Police Chief Joseph Beachem also noted the significance of the drug bust. He indicated authorities are used to seeing cases more involved with the distribution of the drugs. However, in this case, the large quantity of drugs and the raw form showed those arrested were more involved at the manufacturing level.
He said the investigation eventually led authorities to the northern and southern end of the counties as well as other locations.
“We are happiest about that amount of drugs being taken off the street,” said Beachem.
He noted it would take the continued cooperation of local, county and state authorities and their aggressiveness to “take care of (the) problem.”
The search at 402 Washington Avenue, Apt. H in Tyrone resulted in the arrest of the following individuals: Andy Brown, Middletown, NY; Andrew Brown, Brooklyn, NY; Nathan McDonald, Brooklyn, NY; Joshua Thompson, Altoona and James Jones, Brooklyn, NY.
The investigation at an apartment in rural Tyrone led to the arrest of Michael Howard Woomer and James Allen Woomer, both of RD 3, Box 39, Apartment 1, Tyrone.
The press release on the drug bust said agents from the Attorney General’s Office, police departments from Tyrone, Bellwood, Roaring Spring, Blair Township, Greenfield Township, Williamsburg, Duncansville, Hollidaysburg and the Blair County District Attorney’s office participated in the operation.
Authorities said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.