APD: Man sold heroin to police informant

An Altoona man is in jail after allegedly selling heroin to a police informant.

According to Altoona police, Keith C. Christian, 1623 N. 16th St., had more heroin, cocaine and pills on him, along with cash, after his arrest Tuesday night after Christian allegedly exchanged seven capsules of heroin with the informant for $105 while police watched on the 2600 block of Beale Avenue Alley.

Christian, who is currently on state parole and county probation in Philadelphia, also had a stolen .22-caliber handgun in his pocket, along with 25 loose .22 rounds, police said. Christian’s criminal record bars him from possessing a gun, police added.

Police allegedly found $1,647 in cash on Christian when he was taken into custody about 10 p.m.

Christian allegedly told officers there were an additional two bundles of heroin hidden in a case inside an apartment from where he emerged to make the deal on the 2600 block of Beale Avenue. The resident of the apartment, Christian told police, did not know about the heroin inside, and officers reported finding cocaine, marijuana and a partial Suboxone strip in plain sight inside the home.

Altoona police Detective Sgt. Chris Moser said police recovered 28 doses of heroin, packaged in capsules, from the case in the apartment after obtaining a search warrant for the home. Moser added the buy-bust operation was funded in part through Operation Our Town.

Moser said the heroin was packaged in plastic capsules, but police have no evidence it was anything more than a different way to package the drug, as opposed to indicating a higher-potency heroin. The heroin has been sent for testing, and it will be some time before police receive the results from the lab, he said.

The gun had been stolen from a deceased Tyrone man, and police confirmed with his widow that he had owned the gun and that it was missing, the charges indicate.

Christian was arraigned Wednesday morning on felony and misdemeanor drug delivery and possession charges as well as felony theft and gun charges. Bail was set at $50,000 cash by Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly while state parole officials placed a detainer warrant on Christian, as well.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at Central Court.

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