Police: Woman possessed designer drug bath salts

A Gallitzin woman faces felony charges after police said she was caught last week with designer drug bath salts and pieces of drug paraphernalia.

Dinene K. Ford, 31, of the 700 block of St. Thomas Street, was arrested Nov. 7 for an alleged incident in an area known for drug activity, police said.

Ford and another woman were seen inside a van “located in a dimly lit area,” police said in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, noting all lights inside the van were turned off.

Police approached the van and made contact with Ford, who was sitting in a passenger seat, according to the complaint. Another woman sat in the van’s driver’s seat.

“(Ford) remained in the vehicle, while I spoke with the driver beside my patrol car,” an officer wrote in the complaint, adding Ford and the driver gave different stories when asked why they were sitting inside of the parked van.

The driver was searched, and police said they found a plastic container with a tan-colored powder and a few crystals inside of it, according to the complaint.

While searching the driver, the officer was able to see inside the van, where Ford was “making furtive movements in her seat,” according to the complaint.

Police said Ford appeared to be hiding something behind her back.

“When I asked the driver what her friend was doing, I was told there was a needle in the van,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

Ford was taken out of the van, and it was subsequently searched. Inside, officers found a syringe in an open purse, as well as a second purse that also contained a syringe and other drug paraphernalia, according to the complaint.

Police removed the purses from the vehicle to conduct a more thorough search, and officers found an undisclosed amount of bath salts, a rubber hose and “burnt glass stems,” according to the complaint.

Officers said they also located $798 in cash, “which was later determined to be bath salt buy money.”

When an officer approached Ford to ask her about the found items, she either had or feigned a medical emergency, police said.

“When I went to talk with the defendant … she stiffened up and acted as if she was having a seizure,” an officer wrote in the complaint.

Ford was transported by ambulance to UPMC Altoona for an evaluation, police said, noting the driver was taken to a local police station for processing and questioning.

Ford faces felony charges of distributing a designer drug, possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy and attempt to distribute a designer drug, online court documents show.

She also faces lesser charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering and prowling at night.

Charges also were filed against the driver, but a separate set of online documents shows those charges were withdrawn.

Ford is to appear for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Nov. 29 before Magisterial District Judge John Prebish Jr.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.

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