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23 alleged drug dealers arrested after countywide sweep


CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. -- The Cambria County District Attorney is applauding local and state agencies for their help rounding up dozens of alleged drug dealers throughout the county.
6 News reported the sweep Monday night that netted 23 people, but now it's learning much more, including who exactly authorities were looking for.

There's a lot that goes into a drug investigation and they can take months, sometimes years. That's why every once in while authorities try to go after a whole group of alleged dealers at the same time.

"It was the combination of many months of investigation and we worked locally with a bunch of different agencies to do a roundup on these drug offenses," said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

Authorities were rounding up people like Dennis Perry, who's accused of selling prescription pills to a police informant in September, and Misty Charnesky, who is accused of distributing heroin in May.

Authorities also picked up Domonique Shields at his apartment in Oakhurst, the same place he's accused of distributing marijuana. When police went inside Monday, they found much more and brought out baskets full of evidence that included crack cocaine, heroin, and several items used to package and sell.

"These people were on the radar for a while," said Callihan. "Drug investigations take some time to complete, and we round them up like this because it takes a lot of manpower and investigation. (We also) do it to ensure the officers are safe."

With help from the state attorney general's office, authorities were also able to break up a bath salts ring, arresting seven people they believe were also working out of Blair County.

Callihan said she doesn't believe any of the others arrested were major dealers, but said nabbing them early on is a benefit for both police and society.

"Low level dealers like this can still wreak havoc on small towns, boroughs, especially the rural areas," said Callihan. "Having one drug dealer in an area providing drugs to the community has a large impact on small areas."

Authorities are still looking for five people, including Steven Carpenter of Cresson and Damien Black, Alan Harris, Nijan Joiner and Aaron Prosser, all of Johnstown. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call police.

All 23 others arrested Monday were sent directly to the Cambria County Prison, where they were arraigned and processed.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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