Arrests made in area drug bust

Attorney General Tom Corbett and Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, along with local law enforcement, have arrested 26 of 48 suspected drug dealers charged Friday in Blair County. The remaining suspects are actively being sought by authorities.
Corbett said the arrests are the result of a six-month long investigation that focused on street and mid-level drug dealers operating in northern Blair County, centered in Altoona and Tyrone. The drugs involved include crack cocaine, heroin, morphine and marijuana.
Corbett said that at least 35 of the suspected drug dealers are from Altoona. Other local suspects are from Tyrone, Hollidaysburg, Roaring Spring and Port Matilda. Additionally, Corbett said the investigation resulted in criminal charges against a Pittsburgh man suspected of providing a supply link between Altoona and Pittsburgh.
Those defendants and charges filed from the Tyrone area include:
• Courtney Gipprice, Teaberry Street, Tyrone, charged with two counts delivery, two counts possession morphine and arrested Friday;
• Terri L. Ramsey, Blair Avenue, Tyrone, charged with one count theft, one count conspiracy and one count criminal use;
• Timothy McElwain, Blair Avenue, Tyrone, charged with one count theft, one count conspiracy and one count criminal use;
• Mark A. Wilson, W. 15th Street, Tyrone, charged with one count conspiracy heroin and arrested Friday and
• Vincent Adams, Jr., Adams Avenue, Tyrone, charged with one count delivery, one count possession and one count conspiracy heroin.
Corbett said the drug arrests are part of an ongoing effort to target local, street-level drug dealers along with the mid-and upper-level drug suppliers who are bringing heroin and crack cocaine into the Blair County area.
Corbett thanked the businesses and community leaders involved with “Operation Our Town,” a nonprofit corporation formed by local business leaders to take back local neighborhoods and rid them of drugs and drug related crime.
“The only way that we can remove drugs and drug related violence from our city streets is for the community to come together and take a unified stand against this type of crime,” Corbett said. “‘Operation Our Town’ is a positive example of how business and community leaders can make a difference in our neighborhoods by increasing law enforcement protection, educating the citizenry about drugs and drug-related violence, and encouraging treatment for substance abusers.
“Drug abuse is a community-wide problem that requires community-wide solutions like ‘Operation Our Town.’”
Information provided to the Blair County “Push Out the Pushers Hotline” (814-693-3020) was also used to help identify suspected drug dealers during this investigation.
Corbett said the defendants were scheduled to be preliminarily arraigned Friday before Magisterial District Judges Todd Kelly and Joseph Moran in Blair County Central Court. The defendants will be prosecuted by Blair County District Attorney Consiglio’s office.