Blair County Sweep Nets 12 Suspected Drug Dealers and Suppliers

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane (Provided photo)

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced charges against 12 low- and mid-level drug dealers and suppliers in Altoona, who are accused of distributing heroin, cocaine and opioid prescription drugs. The charges are the latest in an ongoing, cooperative investigation between the Office of Attorney General and Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio’s Office.

Over the course of the investigation, agents made a series of undercover and controlled purchases in and around Altoona. The Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI) agents will continue to investigate heroin trafficking in the city. Investigators also are targeting the illegal diversion of prescription narcotics. More arrests are anticipated.

According to the Office of Attorney General (OAG), there is a direct link between prescription drug abuse and heroin use in Pennsylvania. Prescription drug dependency is expensive to maintain, so abusers ultimately turn to heroin as a cheaper, purer and more accessible alternative.

Heroin-related overdoses and overdose deaths are increasing throughout Pennsylvania, and OAG is working with local law enforcement in communities across the state to address the threat.

Kane thanked the businesses and community leaders involved with Operation Our Town, a nonprofit formed by local business leaders to take back local neighborhoods and rid them of drugs and drug-related crime. She also thanked Consiglio, the Blair County Sheriff’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Altoona Police Department for their participation in the investigation.

The Office of Attorney General recently unveiled a new initiative to fight the scourge of illegal drugs in communities across the Commonwealth. Individuals who have witnessed a drug deal in their neighborhood or suspect illegal drug activity where they live or work can send an anonymous tip to the Office of Attorney General by texting PADRUGS + YOUR TIP to 847411. Tips can also be submitted electronically here.

Citizens with information about illegal drug use in the region are encouraged to contact Blair County’s Push Out the Pusher Hotline (1-866-693-3020).

Below is a complete list of the defendants, who will be prosecuted by Consiglio’s Office:

–Brittany Cronmiller, 23, 2018 Sixth Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with three counts of delivery of heroin, three counts of possession of heroin, three counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of conspiracy.

–Hazel Stewart, 27, 2201 11th Ave., First Floor, Altoona, Blair County, is charged with two counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of possession of heroin and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Michael Liebal, 23, 106 S. Ann St., Martinsburg, Blair County, is charged with four counts of delivery of heroin/mushrooms, four counts of possession of heroin/mushrooms, three counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of conspiracy.

–Joshua Haddock, 38, 907 PVB, Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin, one count of possession of heroin and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Jeremy Abram, 22, 123 Walnut Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with two counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of possession of heroin and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Jonathan Earl Wilder-Rice, 43, 226 Rochelle St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with three counts of delivery of heroin/marijuana, three counts of possession of heroin/marijuana, two counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of possession of marijuana.

–Charles Horton, 30, 830 23rd St., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with three counts of delivery of heroin, three counts of possession of heroin and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Thomas Olson, 51, 230 Fourth Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count of delivery of oxycodone, one count of possession of oxycodone and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Heather Koelle, 40, 1906 Fifth Ave., Apt. B, Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count of delivery of crack, one count of possession of crack and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Edmund Shuck Lee, 52, 205 Coleridge Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of conspiracy.

–Lynorris Wilson, 32, 1924 Fourth Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of conspiracy.

–Ryan Eger, 32, currently incarcerated in the Blair County Prison, is charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, two counts of false reports, one count of conspiracy, one count of obstruction, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of perjury and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities.

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