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New Kensington man arrested on drug charges after years-long investigation

| Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 3:08 p.m.

Authorities arrested a man who had $10,000 worth of cocaine and $5,000 cash after an informant made a drug buy in a mall parking lot, the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday.

Robert Dale “Whitey” Damore, 47, of New Kensington is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communications facility for using a cellphone to commit criminal acts.

“We're trying to keep on these higher-level dealers,” said Frank Pitzer, coordinator of the Armstrong County Narcotics Taskforce, or ARMNET.

Damore was under investigation for several years by ARMNET with the Clarion County Narcotics Unit and the New Bethlehem Police Department.

Damore allegedly sold cocaine in Armstrong, Westmoreland, Clarion and Allegheny counties, Pitzer said.

Police arrested Damore on Sunday afternoon after a confidential informant made a controlled purchase of cocaine in the Franklin Village Mall parking lot in East Franklin Township, Pitzer said.

Damore was “conducting his narcotics operation on a much larger scale, and it was very difficult infiltrating his close contacts,” Pitzer said.

Without the cooperation of surrounding counties and a number of police departments, the investigation would have been “very difficult if not impossible,” said Pitzer and Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi in a statement Tuesday.

Other police departments assisting AmNET include: Armstrong County Sheriff's Department, Ford City Police, Kiski Township Police, New Bethlehem Police, Clarion County Narcotics Unit, Kittanning Police, and the Kittanning EMS staff.

The Armstrong County District Attorney's Office does expect additional arrests in the investigation.

Damore was sent to the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 9 before District Judge James Owen in Kittanning.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

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