Altoona woman accused of trafficking heroin

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona woman who police say had heroin in her purse when she visited a probation office is now accused of running a heroin trafficking business. 

Valene Reed was arraigned Friday morning on felony and misdemeanor drug charges stemming from an investigation by Altoona police and the Blair County Drug Task Force where messages gleaned from five cellphones collected in a December search Reed’s apartment on the 500 block of 19th Street on Dec. 4, according to charges filed this week. 

Reed is suspected of having hidden in a closet as police began the search before she then slipped into the basement where she was able to exit the building, a witness told investigators. 

Two separate traffic stops of people in January also provided police with information Reed was bringing large quantities of heroin into Blair County from Pittsburgh. 

VALENE REED

It was messages from the search of the cellphones that provided investigators with a trove of evidence and in the charges, police noted Reed and the people she had moving the heroin for her in Blair County messaged each other about trips to Pittsburgh to get heroin as well as quantities and prices related to sales of the drug. 

Reed was arrested Aug. 21, 2020 after the car she was riding in was pulled over by state police on Route 22, near the Cambria County line and 1,100 packets of suspected heroin was seized, 100 of which were in her purse. She was reporting to the probation office as part of her supervised bail conditions. She was released from Blair County Prison in September after posting $75,000 cash bail. 

In one group message to four others in November, Reed talked about how her safe was stolen, that her supplier had fronted her drugs and she had to talk to him and how she needed everyone to gather as much money as they could so she could get to Pittsburgh, police pointed out. 

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“I need everyone at my house ASAP,” she wrote in the group message after saying, “Anyone has any ideas let me know.” 

Reed’s bail from her August arrest was revoked in late February and on Friday, Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones set bail on her latest charges at $35,000 cash. 

A preliminary hearing is slated for March 17. 

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