Crime

Towing company owner, employee charged with dealing heroin

Two Philipsburg area men are in custody after a three-month drug investigation.

Rebel Towing owner John Lorraine Bowes, 33, of Decatur Township, Clearfield County, and his employee, Walter Lee Wagner, 42, of Philipsburg, were arrested Tuesday after the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s North Central Strike Force served search warrants at the towing company on Curve and Moshannon streets in Rush Township, and Bowes’ Walton Street residence.

According to police, the arrests were the culmination of an investigation that began in December. Troopers said they observed and identified individuals buying and selling heroin at the towing service.

“In March 2014, undercover troopers began making controlled purchases of heroin,” police said in a statement. “During the investigation, numerous customers who purchased heroin from the business were identified along with the sources of the heroin.”

Warrants served in Centre and Clearfield counties at the two properties netted heroin, drug paraphernalia and about $21,000 in cash.

Bowes was charged with at least 14 felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and at least seven counts of misdemeanor possession, as well as conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess and criminal use of a communication facility.

He is lodged at Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Wagner is charged with two felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver and one charge of conspiracy, as well as misdemeanor possession charges. He remains at Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Police said the investigation is continuing.

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