Wanted man found hiding in Altoona basement with backpack full of drugs

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Altoona police announced the arrest of a man wanted by multiple police departments after they found him hiding in the basement of a home with a backpack full of drugs while executing a warrant.

Joseph Manuel Castro was arrested June 28 after a warrant was executed at 100 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd. Officers were serving a separate arrest warrant on an occupant of the residence when they reportedly found Castro hiding in the basement. Castro proceeded to give officers a fake name and drug paraphernalia was in plain view.

After getting a search warrant on the house, they report Castro had a backpack full of drugs including:

Joseph Castro
  • 10 ounces of crystal meth with a $6,500 street value
  • two digital scales
  • 3.3 ounces of marijuana
  • $1,356 in cash on Castro when arrested.

Castro also has multiple warrants through PA State Police and Hollidaysburg Police.

In January 2021, Castro was pulled over by Pennsylvania State Police in Altoona. After finding Castro with a suspended license, troopers observed and seized two smoking pipes after asking him to exit the car. Castro was detained and confirmation of warrants was denied due to COVID-19 restrictions. After towing the car for search, police report they found 22 grams of meth, marijuana, unknown orange pills and a liquid believed to be PCP

In February 2021, Castro was stopped by Hollidaysburg police after leaving a Sheetz and driving down Blair Street. When pulled over, police report K9 Ciro alerted the officer to the scent of drugs. Castro, with a suspended license, was ordered out of the car. After towing and searching the vehicle, suboxone strips in a purse, and a white powdery substance in a backpack with tattoo equipment. After being tested, the powder came back as a drug referred to as “Flakka.”

Castro was placed in the Blair County Prison in lieu of $50,000 straight cash bail on a separate state police drug case, charges are currently pending from Altoona Police.

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