Operation Our Town Thursday presented its 2012 Law Enforcement Awards to three people Thursday at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club.
The awards were presented to state Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard, state Agent Thomas Moore and Detective Sgt. Troy Johannides of the Altoona Police Department for their work in the "Get Shorty" operation.
In December 2010, Gene D. "Shorty" Carter, who local drug agents called the leader of a $1 million cocaine and heroin distribution ring, was charged with selling 44 ounces of cocaine and 22,000 bags of heroin, equal to 33 ounces, through a network of other dealers i Blair and Centre counties.
Carter was convicted of 21 counts in October and was sentenced last month to 104 to 216 years in prison.
"He deserved every bit of it," Regional Director Randy Feathers of the state Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation said.
Operation Our Town also presented the 2012 Community Partnership Award to Blair County.
The county was Operation Our Town's first partner, Operation Our Town President Michael Fiore said
"We never thought of a county being a partner but that is where it all started. Without Blair County's participation and stepping to the forefront, none of this would have been successful," Fiore said. "The Blair County commissioners gave us full support."
Commissioners Terry Tomassetti, Diane Meling and Ted Beam Jr. and retired Commissioner Donna D. Gority accepted the award.
"We are very honored to cooperate and partner with Our Town. Our Town has been a great asset to the county. They are honoring us but it is appropriate that we honor them. It has been an essential factor in improving the quality of life in Blair County," Tomassetti said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.