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Sunday, 2 March 2008

Bloods street gang from New York City involved in a cocaine and heroin operation

Members of the Bloods street gang from New York City involved in a cocaine and heroin operation in Blair County began to appear in the Altoona area when a couple ‘‘local girls’’ told them it was a good place to sell drugs, Altoona Sgt. John McTigue said Friday.The organization grew substantially between 2003 and 2007, doing thousands of dollars in business daily.‘‘They were moving in an unbelievable amount of drugs. They were taking out a lot of money,’’ said McTigue, the lead investigator.Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said the New York-based drug operation took in an estimated $2 million. Corbett was in Altoona Friday as police made public a statewide grand jury presentment naming the organization’s leaders and its local distributors and runners, identifying 29 people.Not only did the seven leaders identify themselves as Bloods to associates, but New York City criminal investigators also confirmed their identities as gang members, said Corbett and police who were part of Friday’s drug sweep.McTigue said drug investigators became aware of a woman who was selling drugs, and police made a buy in June 2006. The gang was so organized that police informants kept dealing with only that woman.But police didn’t know who was supplying the woman.McTigue and other officers used search warrants to help break the back of the drug ring.Police found 700 bags of heroin worth $28,000 in a house at 206¢ Seventh St. that was searched in late June. They also found two residents of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the house: Terrell K. ‘‘Slim’’ Daniels and Shariff ‘‘Reef’’ Counsil.The mystery began to unravel with that drug bust, McTigue said.An August 2006 drug buy in Hollidaysburg led police to a ‘‘runner,’’ who led them back to a nondescript house on a tree-lined street occupied by Elsebeth Eaton, a middle-aged mother, and her family. Eaton permitted her home at 519 Jones St. to be used as a stash house for the drug or-ganization, police said.That night police, confiscated $11,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin and nabbed another Brooklyn man, Lorenzo Vaughn, 18.Other raids on East Walton Avenue and Burgoon Road and in Allegheny Township netted more crack cocaine and heroin.Drug arrests involving the New York-based distributors continued right up until Nov. 21, when police nabbed a drug runner who took the train to Altoona with a heroin supply.McTigue said the initial raid on Seventh Street ‘‘scared’’ the leaders of the operation. They retreated to New York, where they started sending crack and heroin with its drug runners.‘‘They are the Bloods. We are the clot,’’ he said. ‘‘Our red trumps their red


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