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Jurors convict drug sale supplier

McNary found guilty of 12 offenses; could face up to 5 years in prison

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man accused of supplying methamphetamine for a 2019 drug sale failed to convince a Blair County jury on Tuesday that he wasn’t involved in the transaction.

The jury, after about two hours of deliberating, convicted 58-year-old Alvin “Monk” McNary of 12 offenses and acquitted him of four offenses, all filed after a three-stage investigation by Altoona police and drug law enforcement officers.

Assistant District Attorney Katelyn Hoover asked Judge Timothy M. Sullivan, who presided over the trial that ended Tuesday afternoon, to revoke McNary’s bail.

Hoover said McNary faces at least two years in a state prison and possibly five years because of the possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine conviction.

Defense attorney Scott N. Pletcher protested the bail revocation request and told Sullivan that McNary will return to court for his Jan. 19 sentencing. Pletcher said his client has family in the area and has made no attempt to flee while the charges were pending.

After Sullivan revoked bail as Hoover requested, sheriff deputies put handcuffs on McNary and escorted him to the county prison.

McNary’s additional convictions were for charges of criminal conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

McNary, who took the stand in his own defense, tried to convince the jury that he was being falsely accused by Misty Szebin of Altoona, who said she bought methamphetamine from him, and by the investigating Altoona police officers.

“I’ve had my share of run-ins with these officers,” McNary said on the stand.

McNary acknowledged that he and Szebin knew each other and that they had an “off and on” relationship.

When Pletcher asked McNary if Szebin lied to the jury about getting drugs from him, McNary said yes.

“Misty is pissed off … cause I told her to hit the road,” he said.

Altoona police, who filed drug offense charges against Szebin that are still pending, were monitoring Szebin on March 13, 2019, when she went into McNary’s residence at 509 26th St. and secured methamphetamine.

McNary tried to tell the jury that didn’t happen because he wasn’t home.

After the transaction, police secured a search warrant for his residence, where they found additional methamphetamine, cocaine, cellphones, a foot-long marijuana pipe and other paraphernalia.

In a third leg of the investigation, police secured a search warrant for Szebin’s room at the Wingate Hotel on Chestnut Avenue.

Szebin told the jury that McNary had been there with her and fled after receiving a text message about police searching his residence.

In Szebin’s room at the Wingate, police seized small plastic packets containing methamphetamine. The packets were the same as the kind found at McNary’s residence during the search there, Officer Derek Swope told the jury when he testified Monday.

Hoover asked the jury to hold McNary accountable for his role as the supplier in this distribution of illegal drugs. She also rejected Pletcher’s reference to police having rushed their investigation leading to McNary’s charges.

“Attorney Pletcher called it a rushed operation. I call it a complete operation,” Hoover said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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