Police: Heroin, guns found

Three people face a list of charges after a traffic stop in Altoona allegedly led to drugs, cash and guns at an 18th Street home.

About 12:50 a.m. Friday, two Altoona police detectives working a special “alcohol detail” noticed an SUV pull out of a Sheetz store at 13th Street and 14th Avenue at a high rate of speed, according to charges filed Friday.

Police said Joshua S. Barr, 30, of 1404 18th St., was behind the wheel and allegedly high, police said. His arrest, in an alley behind his girlfriend’s 18th Street house, ultimately led police to a stash of heroin, thousands in cash and two guns, including a stolen 9 mm pistol, police said.

Shirley M. Nash, 19, of 2122 18th St., acted nervous and anxious when police brought her the keys to her vehicle, as Barr had asked after his arrest. Police said when officers first arrived, Nash was talking to Rahim A. Mobley, 21, of 2602 Sixth Ave., on a cellphone, and he told her to get the police out of the house. Nash said she was alone in the house, but officers heard someone moving around on the second floor and investigated.

Police noted Mobley was upstairs, along with 237 bags of heroin and about $5,000 in cash that police said was laid out in plain view of officers.

After a search warrant was secured, investigators allegedly turned up cocaine, multiple cellphones, a loaded AK-47 rifle and a stolen 9 mm handgun. Police have charged all three with felony and misdemeanor crimes in connection to the weapons, drugs and cash seized, according to Altoona police Detective Sgt. Benjamin Jones.

“We found evidence that all three were sharing the residence in one way or another,” Jones said.

Apart from what was found in the house, police also searched three vehicles, including two Lincoln Aviators, one of which was parked behind the house with its engine running and a packet of heroin on the front seat when Barr was arrested just feet away, police said.

Barr also had cocaine on him, police said, and about one-eighth of an ounce of cocaine was found in the home, police allege.

In all, about $7,000 in cash was seized from the three suspects, Jones said, as well as a tally sheet marked CRIM GOTTI. The significance of that name, he said, remained under investigation, Jones added.

The three suspects also talked openly to each other while in Altoona Police Department holding cells, Jones said.

“They were trying to think of ways to distance themselves from the drugs and guns and devise an alibi,” Jones said.

Jones said the bust was significant as it took heroin and guns off the street. The 9 mm was reported to Altoona police as stolen in 2010, and police continue to look into the origin and ownership of the AK-47, Jones said.

“Anytime we can get a gun off the street, as well as heroin, and put somebody in jail, it’s a good day for the community,” Jones said.

According to police, both Barr and Mobley are prohibited from possessing a gun because of previous convictions, and both have criminal histories that include drug convictions, according to court records.

Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker set bail for Barr and Mobley at $50,000 cash each. Nash posted her $25,000 cash bail through a bail bondsman Friday. All three suspects are due to appear at Central Court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.