The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 1, 2013

UPDATE | FBI, police swarm downtown business

JOHNSTOWN — One person is in police custody following a Cambria County Drug Task Force raid on J Town Fashions at around 6 p.m. Wednesday night in downtown Johnstown. Police discovered what they suspect to be synthetic marijuana as well as a handgun.

45-year-old James Edward Williams of Beech Street in Johnstown is reportedly the manager of the clothing store at 140 Gazebo Pl., just across from Central Park. Court records show he has been convicted of numerous felonies including drug trafficking charges from 1998 in Pittsburgh and is currently on federal parole.

He was arraigned Thursday morning in District Judge Leonard Grecek’s office on charges of prohibited possession of a firearm by a convicted felon - specifically, a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

Drug Task Force officers, assisted by Johnstown Police and FBI agents, rummaged through boxes and inspected clothing items for several hours during the raid.

According to Williams’ criminal affidavit, synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also confiscated from the store and are being tested at the Pennsylvania State Police lab in Greensburg. Williams will face additional charges pending the results of the lab tests.

Williams was unable to post his $15,000 bail and is residing in the Cambria County Prison, awaiting a preliminary hearing before District Judge Rick Varner on August 7 at 1 p.m.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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