Police arrest city man on drug, gun charges


A call about an idling car has led to the arrest of an Altoona man who allegedly told police he’s an enforcer for a methamphetamine supplier.

Jean-Taft Kelley Gray, 40, was taken into custody by Altoona police at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday after officers allegedly found methamphetamine and a stolen handgun in Gray’s green Mazda sedan.

According to the charges, police were dispatched to the 800 block of Sixth Avenue for a report of a green car that had been sitting with its engine running since 6 a.m.

Police said Gray was reclined in the driver’s seat, asleep, and after knocking on the window several times, he woke up, rolled down his window and told officers he had driven there to visit a friend. The friend wasn’t home, so he walked back to his car and fell asleep, Gray told cops.

While officers were talking with Gray, they spotted a capped hypodermic needle in a breast pocket of his coat, according to the charges. When Gray was asked if he had been using any illegal drugs, he allegedly admitted he used methamphetamine and had used some earlier that morning, so police had him step out of the car.

Gray allegedly admitted he had a small amount of the drug in his pants pocket and after he was put in handcuffs, police allegedly found three small bags and a small glass tube of methamphetamine inside a leather container in his coat pocket.

Officers also spotted a handgun, its handle sticking out from between the center console and the driver’s seat, police said. The gun, an American Arms .22 caliber semi-automatic, turned out to have been lost by its deceased owner’s widow in July 2018. A check of Gray’s criminal history indicated he has prior felony theft convictions that make it illegal for him to possess a gun, police noted.

Gray had a contact lens case he told police he used to mix methamphetamine so he could inject it and he also claimed to be “an enforcer for an individual who is the main supplier of crystal methamphetamine in the area,” police wrote in the charges. Gray allegedly said he also helps deliver the drug for the supplier.

Gray faces charges that include felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license.

Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio set bail for Gray at $50,000 cash on Wednesday. Gray remains in Blair County Prison with a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 4.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.