Heroin suspect arrested shortly after bus ride

A Philadelphia man who arrived by bus Wednesday is now behind bars after police said he sold heroin to an informant.

Tony “Maxi” Barnes, 28, of Philadelphia allegedly approached a person Wednesday and asked if he knew anyone who used heroin, according to Altoona police. The person Barnes allegedly solicited contacted Altoona police, and a sting was setup in which Barnes allegedly sold 14 packets of heroin to police through the informant, court records show.

Barnes had just gotten out of jail and was sent to Altoona by “his people” to sell heroin, Barnes allegedly told the person he solicited, police noted.

Barnes was arrested at a few minutes before 11 p.m. and allegedly had bills used in the drug buy on him, as well as a bus ticket dated Oct. 30.

According to Barnes’ arrest papers, police first tried to use an undercover officer for the buy, but Barnes walked away from the deal.

When the informant introduced Barnes to the undercover officer, Barnes asked to see the man’s ID, prompting the officer to say he

didn’t have it on him because he had just gotten off work.

Police said Barnes decided to walk away after telling the officer he didn’t want to deal with him, but a few minutes later, Barnes allegedly agreed to meet the informant. Police said Barnes gave the informant the 14 packets of heroin in exchange for $200, and the informant turned it over to police.

The operation to bust Barnes was funded in part by Operation Our Town and carried out by the Altoona police, the Blair County District Attorney’s Office, state attorney general drug agents and Logan Township police.

Barnes remains in Blair County Prison in lieu of $35,000 cash bail set by Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly. A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday at Central Court.

A check of online court records shows Barnes was convicted in 2008 in Lycoming County on felony drug charges and was sentenced to up to three years in prison. In September, Barnes was arrested in Philadelphia on theft-related charges.