NEW DETAILS: After police interviewed both Walter and Eckert, officials found that another contact named “C” would give the meth to them.
After conducting a traffic stop, both Eckert and Walter were taken into custody and interviewed. Walter was hesitant to speak much to police and requested to speak to an attorney.
Eckert was brought in next to be interviewed by officials. She explained how she and Walter would get the drugs from a Puerto Rican contact nicknamed “C” or “Mo”. Eckert explained how she would meet C every two weeks to buy more drugs and that Walter was along for a few trips.
After going through Eckert’s phone with her permission, police then found messages between her and C about an order of drugs being placed. Police then took her phone to search and told her that she would get it back after the search, according to the complaint.
Eckert was brought back in to be questioned by police on Aug. 30. Police showed her a potential picture of C at the Ramada Inn in Allentown where they met for the last two deals. A forensic extraction of Eckert’s phone found two phone numbers for C in her phone.
Eckert received both her phone and vehicle, that Walter was driving at the time of the traffic stop, due to cooperation with police in identifying C.
Eckert met again with officials on Sept. 13 and showed messages from the previous days between her and C. C told her to get in touch with him because he “is about to be out again” and wanted to know if he should set some aside for her, and he also wanted “J’s” phone number to talk to him, according to the complaint.
She responded by saying that Walter was arrested by probation as a cover-up for the drug shipment that police intercepted. Eckert would continue to meet with officials and update them on any messages that C would send.
Officials on Sept. 21 would review phone calls in Blair County prison between Eckert and Walter. Eckert told Walter that C ghosted her. In another recorded phone call, Walter talks about how it is his fault that all the kids in the area are on meth and that it is probably his fault. Eckert told him that it wasn’t just his but both of theirs.
Officials also found that Eckert actually told C that she was working with police and that she brought up an attempt to deceive police to help Walter get released from jail.
Walter and Eckert currently face multiple drug felony counts of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, criminal use of communication facility. Walter currently has a monetary bail value set for $500,000 and Eckert has one set for $300,000. Both await a preliminary hearing for Oct. 7.
THE ORIGINAL STORY IS BELOW
ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ)– Two people are in custody in what police say is one of the biggest methamphetamine busts to ever take place in Blair County with more arrests to come.
Today, Sept. 23, police received arrest warrants for Erica Eckert, 43, of Altoona and Jayme Walter, 42, of Roaring Spring, who both face alleged drug charges after police conducted an investigation that took three months into possible meth distribution in the Altoona/Blair County area.
On Aug. 26 police along with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General received info that both Eckert and Walter were transporting a large amount of meth from Allentown, Pa to Altoona to be distributed, according to Altoona Police Department’s Facebook post. Police got a warrant for Walter’s arrest since he was on parole.
Police say that a traffic stop occurred at approximately 5:01 p.m. the same day at the 6400 block of Woodbury Pike in Taylor Township. Walter was arrested and sent to Altoona Police Department, and officials used two K9 units to search his vehicle.
After obtaining a search warrant and searching the vehicle, officials found about six pounds of meth, almost 5 ounces of cocaine, 21-grams of suspected fentanyl, a gram of heroin, cell phones and also $1,901 in US currency. The total monetary value of the drugs that were found amounts to over $250,000 police say.
Eckert was arrested at a home in Altoona and was sent to Blair County Central Booking for processing and arraignment while Walter is currently incarcerated and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Sept. 24.
The Blair County district attorney explained how this bust will greatly impact the local supply of drugs.
“Let the District Attorney know when they see criminal activity, especially drug trafficking,” Blair County District Attorney Peter Weeks said. “Cause often times it’s those complaints from community members that start investigations that lead to seizures like this that have six pounds of methamphetamine and additional drugs taken off the street.”
Police say they expect more arrests will be made at a later time as a result of the investigation.
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