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More arrests made in sweep

Drug Task Force conducts action over two days due to COVID-19

For a second day, Tyrone police, along with state narcotics agents and members of the Blair County Drug Task Force turned their focus on arresting the targets of multiple investigations into methamphetamine and heroin.

“We are very fortunate the Attorney General’s Office coordinates the task force in Blair County,” Blair County District Attorney Pete Weeks said Thursday. “We’re very excited Tyrone has once again taken an active role in the task force.”

Weeks pointed out that the trafficking of illicit drugs isn’t confined to Altoona and drug dealers often travel between the city and smaller towns in the county such as Tyrone.

Weeks said he anticipates more investigations in northern and southern Blair County and said the latest drug sweep should send notice that drug dealers won’t find refuge in the smaller, more rural communities of the county.

Matthew P. Romano, 30, faces charges he sold methamphetamine and heroin in late 2019, according to charges filed by Tyrone police. Police allege Romano sold a gram of methamphetamine to a police informant on Oct. 9 for $60.

On Nov. 22, Romano allegedly sold methamphetamine and heroin to an informant for $50, and he is accused of selling methamphetamine to an informant for $80 on Dec. 23.

Romano was also arraigned Thursday on felony and misdemeanor drug charges stemming from a July incident in Tyrone where police allegedly found methamphetamine, THC wax, a scale, packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia.

Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller set bail at a total of $120,000 cash and Romano remains in Blair County Prison.

Vincent M. Cowher, 23, of Tyrone allegedly sold $100 in heroin in July 2019 and $100 in methamphetamine in October 2019, as well as $150 in methamphetamine in February.

Cowher is already in jail, and his new bail on each of the three cases is $25,000 cash.

Also in jail but arraigned on Thursday was Trevor J. Latchford, 32, of Altoona. Tyrone police allege he sold meth and heroin in 2019 and 2020. Latchford also faces misdemeanor drug and tampering with evidence charges in a November 2019 incident in Tyrone for which he was also arraigned on Thursday. Latchford’s total bail on the four new cases is a total of $85,000 cash.

Police also arrested 27-year-old Ashley M. Cowher of Tyrone on Thursday in connection with two alleged sales of Suboxone in November. She faces felony and misdemeanor drug charges and was released on two unsecured $25,000 bonds, as were 30-year-old Melissa S. Stephens and 28-year-old Elisha Marie McCaulley, both of Tyrone.

Stephens is accused of selling $20 in Suboxone in December and McCaulley allegedly supplied Ashley Cowher with the Suboxone she sold on Nov. 25.

Bradley Clark, 26, of Tyrone and currently in jail in Centre County, faces felony and misdemeanor drug charges stemming from the sale of suspected heroin and methamphetamine twice in September 2019, according to police.

Preliminary hearings for suspects in Blair County Prison are scheduled for Tuesday in Tyrone District Court, and suspects released on supervised bail are scheduled for hearings on Sept. 29.

The latest drug sweep, which police noted was conducted over two days to alleviate COVID-19 concerns, included Tyrone, Bellwood, Altoona and Logan Township police, the Blair County Sheriff’s Office and state police.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.

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