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Police: Johnstown woman had drugs at playground

JOHNSTOWN -- It has been a common theme in 6 News' newscasts for years, increasing more and more as time goes on: Drugs, particularly heroin.

Johnstown police say they made another arrest in the city Tuesday, but this time it was in an area where kids go to play.

"In the winter time, it's pretty calm," said a woman who lives near the Wood Street Playground. "You (see a drug deal) here, one there, but as the weather gets warmer it starts to pick up."

In Johnstown Wednesday, the skies were clear and temperatures were in the high 60s. At the Wood Street Playground the swings were swaying, but there was no one in them.

"More and more cars pull up. They sit for a few minutes do what they need to do and then they leave. It's like they don't care," said the woman who didn't want to be identified.

The woman told 6 News that drug deals have become a common site at the playground, happening at all hours of day and night.

"A citizen called in suspicious activity, possibly they suspected possible drug activity on the playground," said Johnstown Police Chief Craig Foust. "When officers responded they located a group of individuals and it was obvious that there was some drug activity occurring."

Johnstown police said there were a group of people gathered at the playground believed to be smoking marijuana, but Jasmine Hinton was the only one they arrested.

That's because in addition to marijuana they say they found pills and heroin inside her purse as well as an electronic scale and grinder, commonly used when cutting and packaging drugs for sale.

"She's not allowed out unless there's a group of us over here because of the drug activity," the woman said of her eight-year-old daughter. "We just don't trust it anymore."

"With the weather being nicer we obviously step up our patrols in the playground areas," Foust said. "They shouldn't have to deal with this kind of stuff when they go to the playground just to have fun."

But sometimes extra patrols are not enough. That's why Foust says his department appreciates the extra eyes and ears.

"It's good to see that people are becoming involved in their communities and keeping an eye on locations like that to protect our young children," he said.

When police brought Hinton back to the station they said they found more drugs on her as well as some hidden in her bra.

It's not clear if she had kids with her or if there were others nearby, but she is in the Cambria County Prison on $10,000 bail.

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