A man wanted in Blair County on drug charges is behind bars after a big win at a Philadelphia-area casino soon left him busted.
Mateen "Jay" Johnson, 34, of 1213 N. 11th Ave. was brought back to Blair County on Saturday after his arrest at the Philadelphia Park Racetrack & Casino in Bucks County, where police said he had won $2,500 playing blackjack.
Johnson's luck changed when he took his winnings to the window to cash out, police said.
"When they swiped his ID, it came back that he had a warrant and they called the police," said Altoona Detective Sgt. Troy Johannides.
Johnson was wanted by the Blair County Drug Task Force and the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation on two cocaine delivery cases connected with an alleged cocaine ring headed up by Jermaine Samuel Sr. 32, of Altoona, that police said operated out of The Corner Bar & Grill, 1001 Eighth Ave.
Samuel, police claim, was actually running the cocaine business on behalf of Damion "Benny" Floyd, 33, who pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge last year and is currently serving a four- to eight-year sentence in state prison.
According to court records, police accused Johnson of selling $100 worth of crack cocaine to a confidential informant on March 16, 2011, in a Juniata alley. Johnson allegedly sold an informant six bags of crack cocaine for $200 six days later
During the set-up of the sale, Johnson allegedly told the informant, who had wanted to buy a half ounce worth of crack cocaine a few days earlier, that Floyd wasn't comfortable with the informant "handling that much weight yet," police noted in Johnson's arrest papers.
Johnson also told the informant that Floyd "was a little leery" of the informant because he hadn't had any dealings with him in two years, police said.
Johnson told the Altoona officers who picked him up at the Bucks County Prison that he was at the casino to raise some cash because he was planning to turn himself in and wanted make his bail, Johannides said.
Johnson's bail was set by Magisterial District Judge Fred B. Miller at a $100,000 cash for each of the two cases and Johnson, who has a criminal history that includes arrests for drugs, assault and guns, was lodged in Blair County Prison.
Johnson's $2,500 winnings were checked in at the jail and await him when he gets out which, according to police, could be a long time.
"He's got an extensive criminal history and he's looking at some significant time," Johannides said.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.