An informant’s tip and controlled purchases have led to the arrest of an alleged heroin dealer.
Officers were alerted to Stephen James Watkins, 31, of Bellefonte, in February, according to State College police. A confidential informant told police he had made at least 10 purchases from Watkins in the past. The informant positively identified Watkins through Facebook.
Police then set up a March 1 controlled buy, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The informant made a deal over Facebook messenger to purchase 10 bags of heroin for $140. The money was pre-recorded. The purchase was made outside the downtown State College CVS under police surveillance, and the state police regional laboratory later identified the substance as heroin.
A second buy was conducted on March 23 at the same location with the same results, police said. The deal was $300 for 20 bags of heroin. An officer made a traffic stop after the purchase and arrested Watkins and another person.
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Charges were filed Tuesday against Watkins and include four felony counts of manufacturing, delivering or possession of drugs and two felony counts of criminal use of a communication facility. No charges have been filed against the other person.
Bail was set $50,000 by Magisterial Judge Carmine W. Prestia. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 24.