City man arrested on drug charges

Leonard allegedly tried to hide behind tree


A city man police said tried to hide a stash of methamphetamine and marijuana behind a tree is now in jail.

Gage Leonard, 23, was arrested about 11 a.m. Wednesday after Altoona police were dispatched for a report of a suspicious person, according to police.

Police were told the man, who had been pacing back and forth, was last seen walking from the 2000 block of Crawford Avenue toward 21st Street. Officers spotted Leonard, who was carrying a white plastic bag, walking up 22nd Street. When Leonard saw police, he allegedly hid behind a tree.

Police said Leonard could be seen pulling the bag up to his chest and after he looked out from behind the tree, he continued walking. When officers caught up to him, Leonard allegedly gave them the name Mike Smith, along with a birth date. Police said Leonard claimed he had been pacing back and forth on the 2000 block of Crawford because he was waiting for a friend to pick him up.

Leonard told police he didn’t know the last four digits of his Social Security number and a check of the name Mike Smith with the birth date Leonard gave didn’t match any records, police noted.

Police detained Leonard, and when they placed the plastic bag on the trunk of a patrol car, an officer allegedly saw an orange pipe inside.

Police said Leonard had a bank card in his wallet with his name on it and when he was searched, police allegedly found $488 in cash in a pocket of his cargo pants. He had another $45 in his wallet.

Police then checked the tree where Leonard had hidden. There, police found a small blue Tommy Hilfiger wallet with a red case inside that held 16 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 24 grams of suspected marijuana, according to police.

Other drug paraphernalia also was found, including wax packets, bundled empty plastic bags and a digital scale. A suspected Suboxone strip and two glass pipes were also in the case and wallet, police contend.

Leonard was arraigned Wednesday afternoon by Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones, who set bail at $20,000 cash. Leonard is charged with felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance along with misdemeanor counts of false identification to law enforcement, drug possession, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

Leonard remains in Blair County Prison with a preliminary hearing on July 15 at Central Court


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