Three arrested on drug charges at city residence

Three people were arrested early Sunday morning at an Altoona residence where police found drugs, cash, a handgun and 47 rare silver coins.

Michael Ernesto Mitchell, 18, and Mandy Sue Pierce, no age available, both of 2319 Maple Ave., and Jalaal Ibn Battle, 18, 404 Ohio St., Johnstown, are facing several charges including possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All were in the Blair County Prison as of Sunday night.

Altoona police went to the Maple Avenue address late Saturday night after receiving an anonymous call about a man at 2319 Maple Ave. with a gun.

After entering the residence, officers reported hearing people moving about upstairs.

Officers found Battle hiding in a storage area. Nearby, officers found marijuana, heroin, crack cocaine and a black sock containing cash.

After securing a search warrant from Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker, the officers collected $5,300 cash in assorted denominations, three-quarters of a pound of marijuana, an unspecified amount of crack cocaine, numerous packets of heroin, scales, pipes and narcotics packaging materials, a .380 handgun and 47 silver dollar coins including ones from the 1800s.

Charges filed in the case also indicate that the Maple Avenue residence is within 1,000 feet of a school, so if Mitchell, Pierce and Battle are convicted, they could faced a minimum two-year jail sentence for the illegal drug-selling business.