County judge refuses to sentence woman

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron once again expressed his concern with people in the illegal drug business carrying unlicensed firearms when he refused Friday to sentence a Williamsburg woman to a state drug treatment program, noting she was charged with firearms violations.

Serena Ann Kifer, 27, of 227 Fitzingo Drive., entered guilty pleas on Oct. 28 to drug charges, as well as firearms not to be carried without a license.

The pleas were entered before President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva, and Kifer was in court Friday before Milliron for sentencing to the Intermediate Punishment Program operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

The judge put a halt to proceedings because of the firearms charges against Kifer.

The charges stated that Kifer in March 2012 was in possession of two stolen guns, a 9 mm Taurus and a .44-caliber Smith and Wesson magnum handgun.

Kifer was carrying the guns in her purse and showed them to friends on the night of March 24, 2012.

One of the people she was with, a male, took the guns to his home in Huntingdon County, then to a friend’s house in Sinking Valley, Blair County.

That man eventually gave the guns to police investigating drug offenses involving Kifer, Michael Eugene Calderwood of James Creek, and Creig Allen Shultz and Kourtney Lorene Thomas, both of Altoona.

The Taurus handgun was not loaded but the magnum was when police obtained them.

As part of their investigation, police tracked the two weapons and determined that both had been stolen from their original owners. Milliron said the guns are a danger to everyone and said he wasn’t going to accept the plea deal presented to him by Assistant District Attorney Julia Wilt and Assistant Public Defender Jason Imler. Wilt explained to the judge that Kifer’s guilty pleas have already been accepted by Kopriva.

That led Milliron to state he had no problem with the attorneys finding another judge who would sentence Kifer to the IP program, so the case was sent back to Kopriva for sentencing on Dec. 27.

Kifer was among those arrested by the West Drug Task Force in March 2012.

Police issued five search warrants for residences in Altoona, Williamsburg and James Creek and for two vehicles.

During the investigation, they rounded up 3,700 packets of heroin, a large amount of marijuana, methadone, as well as other drugs and more than $11,000 in cash.

Calderwood is serving 5-10 years behind bars. He is presently housed at the State Correctional institution at Camp Hill.

Thomas has been placed on 10 years’ probation, while Shultz is awaiting sentence.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.