Police: Alleged dealer possessed stolen gun

The arrest of an alleged drug dealer turned up a suspected stolen gun, according to Altoona police.

Altoona police said Damion L. Ellis, 35, 110 Eighth St., was able to keep his identity from police, who knew him as only Malik, as he peddled heroin in Blair County.

“We didn’t know who he was and kept the investigation for quite a long time,” said Altoona Detective Sgt. Troy Johannides, who pointed out police were able to buy 50 bags of heroin for $650 from Ellis in May and sought a warrant for him on March 1.

Last weekend, Altoona police tracked down a blue Honda sedan that Ellis was known to drive, one owned by an Altoona woman, and took him into custody. After Ellis gave police his address, investigators learned from a resident at that address that Ellis didn’t live there but had left some clothes and other belongings in the home.

After police were given permission to search, officers found a Gucci shoe box in the attic, police said.

According to court records, inside the shoe box was a digital scale and a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 1917 U.S. Army handgun with an obliterated serial number.

“We believe this gun is stolen, but we can’t confirm that until we get the results back from the lab,” Johannides said of the state police firearms trace. A partial fingerprint was lifted from the gun, and investigators are awaiting analysis of that evidence, police said.

Mail belonging to Ellis was found with the box, and in a second-floor bedroom, a box of 9 mm ammunition was discovered with Ellis’ clothes.

The resident of the home, also the owner of the car Ellis used, told police the shoe box belonged to Ellis, and she retrieved the pair of Gucci shoes it originally held for police.

Ellis is charged with delivery of heroin and related charges as well as three felony gun charges. Ellis remains in Blair County Prison after failing to post $30,000 cash bail.