Police stumble upon alleged bath salts deal in Taylor Township; multiple arrests possible

mcarroll@centredaily.comJune 20, 2013 

A Port Matilda man is behind bars and four others face possible drug charges in an alleged swap of bath salts for food stamps in Taylor Township.

State police at Philipsburg stumbled upon the drug deal Monday when they arrived at the home of Charles Ball, 29, to talk to the man about an unrelated incident, according to a criminal complaint.

Ball allegedly told police he was in the process of selling bath salts to another man, Travis Hammond, 34, of Tyrone, for $30 in food stamps when police knocked at the door of Ball’s home on Hanna Hill Lane.

Police said Hammond, who had not been charged as of Wednesday afternoon, answered the door and told troopers he would speak with them. Instead, the man opened the door just enough for a pit bull to get out and then shut the door and locked it.

Hammond allegedly then ran to the back of the house and jumped out a window. He was arrested after a short foot pursuit with troopers.

Ball was found in possession of bath salts and more than $1,000 in cash. Troopers served a search warrant on his home and found more drugs, including marijuana, bath salts and prescription pill and drug paraphernalia, according to police.

Hammond and three women, whom authorities did not identify, also face charges stemming from the incident, police said. Hammond was taken to Blair County jail on an outstanding warrant.

Ball was arraigned on a felony charge of manufacture, deliver or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was placed in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $35,000 bail.

An attorney for Ball was not listed on court documents.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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