City man gets jail time in drug case – Altoona Mirror

Oct 25, 2022
HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man rendered guilty pleas Monday to felony drug offenses and criminal trespassing for a sentence of 18 months to 60 months, minus a day, followed by three years’ probation.
Alexander Lee Saldana, 42, was supposed to go on trial in Blair County Court where he rendered the pleas about an hour before the jurors were scheduled to report.
The sentence, as imposed by President Judge Elizabeth Doyle, will allow Saldana to finish the remaining nine months of his minimum jail time in the county prison, where he is currently incarcerated.
Defense attorney Robert Donaldson said he was prepared for trial and talked over the weekend with Saldana who decided on Monday morning to render the plea.
Assistant District Attorney Katelyn Hoover presented Doyle with the recommended sentence. Hoover also was ready for trial and had witnesses scheduled to report to court.
Doyle accepted Saldana’s pleas to criminal conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver, possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications device and an unrelated felony charge of criminal trespassing.
The drug-related offenses reflected Saldana’s involvement in a Jan. 6, 2020, drug sale that Altoona police were monitoring.
A confidential informant, who went into an Altoona residence on the 2300 block of Third Avenue to buy methamphetamine for $160, emerged from the residence with Saldana. From that location, Saldana and the informant traveled to Ninth Street and 20th Avenue where Saldana met a woman, who later told police she “burnt” Saldana by providing him with rock salt instead of methamphetamine.
Saldana, who was arrested after the transaction, remained incarcerated for about four months before posting bail in April 2020, court records show. Saldana was remanded to the county prison on June 29, 2022, court records show, after Altoona police arrested and charged him with criminal trespassing.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.
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