Undercover heroin sting

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Investigators say it is the largest controlled purchase of heroin to occur in Blair County.

The Altoona Police Department and Blair County Drug Task Force announced the drug bust in a news conference Monday morning.

The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in December 2014 involving a large-scale trafficking of heroin from New York City to Blair and Cambria Counties.

The alleged king pin in this case is Norman Gomez.

Authorities say Gomez utilized local drug dealers and a tattoo shop in Altoona to distribute heroin on a weekly to bi-weekly basis.

Agents from the Drug Task Force began making undercover buys at the tattoo shop and that led them to a number of other mid-level heroin dealers.

During the sting, agents say they made three purchases of one ounce of raw heroin for $3,500 per ounce.

The other suspects in this drug ring include:

Norman Gomez, Jacquelyn Alberts, Tex C. Ortiz, Tex X. Ortiz, Heather Vanklaveren, Anthony Makarikas, Tom Shea, Nicole Kizina, Joanne Helsel, Andrew Good, Cassandra Conrad, Nathan Snowberger, Amanda Steele, and Malcom Foor.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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