Update: Man Facing Charges in Jefferson County Drug Death

ROSE TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A DuBois man is facing felony charges relating to his alleged role in delivering heroin to a man who died of an overdose.

According to court documents, on February 20, the Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 32-year-old Ryan Keith Saline, of DuBois.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on August 30, 2017.

According to a criminal complaint, around 3:00 p.m. on August 31, 2017, Trooper Weaver was dispatched to a residence on State Route 322 in Rose Township, Jefferson County, for a deceased 29-year-old male.

Upon arrival at the scene, Trooper Weaver was confronted by the victim’s sister who indicated that on August 30, around 8:45 p.m., she arrived at the home of Ryan Keith Saline, of Treasure Lake, DuBois, along with the victim after the victim contacted Saline via cell phone. The woman stated that Saline provided the victim with marijuana and three stamp bags of heroin, stamped with the name “ROLEX” on each bag. She said they were with Saline at his residence for approximately ten minutes, then they left with the drugs provided by Saline, the complaint states.

She indicated that they drove straight back home and arrived there around 9:30 p.m. She went inside their residence and didn’t see what the victim was doing after they arrived home. She left for work around midnight and saw the victim lying on his bed as she walked past his room. When she arrived home from work around 9:05 a.m. on August 31, the victim was still laying on his bed. She told police that she checked on him around 2:00 p.m. and noticed he had foam coming from his mouth and right nostril, and he was cold to the touch, so she called 9-1-1, according to the complaint.

At 3:58 p.m. on August 31, 2017, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Carl Abrahamson pronounced the victim dead at the scene from what appeared to be a drug overdose, according to the complaint.

Around 4:30 p.m. on August 31, a Class “A” wiretap certified trooper set up a consensual wire phone call at the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office which was made by the victim’s sister, using the victim’s cell phone. The call was made to Ryan Saline’s cell phone. Saline acknowledged that the victim and his sister were at his residence the night before and that he had provided the victim with marijuana. He initially denied selling the heroin to the victim; however, when confronted by the victim’s sister as to her witnessing him hand the victim three stamp bags of heroin with the name “ROLEX” on them, Saline became silent and began to apologize to her.

On August 31, a consent search was conducted on the victim’s residence on State Route 322 in Brookville, and on the victim’s vehicle, a maroon Jeep Commander, in the driveway of the residence. The search yielded positive findings including marijuana found in the center console of the vehicle, as well as three stamp bags of suspected heroin marked “ROLEX” – one bag which was empty along with a straw that was suspected as the instrument that the victim utilized to snort the bag of heroin. These were found in the pockets of the pants that the victim wore the previous night, the complaint states.

Around 8:20 p.m. on September 1, 2017, Ryan Saline was interviewed at PSP DuBois. An officer read him the PSP Notification of non-arrest, and Saline provided basic biographical information.

Trooper Weaver informed Saline that a search warrant was executed at his residence, and items were seized from his bedroom. He then asked Saline what he thought police discovered and seized. He said it could have been anything from anytime because he does not clean his room, the complaint states.

Trooper Weaver then informed him that the search warrant was drug-related. Trooper Weaver asked Saline when he was last at his residence, and he told them he stayed there the previous night (August 31 – September 1), and was there until approximately 2:30 p.m. When asked if he was at his residence the night before that (August 30), he stated, “Yes.”

Saline stated that he knew the victim and said, “he was my friend.” Saline also stated that he knew the victim died.

Saline initially denied providing any drugs to the victim that night, but when he was informed that police had evidence that he did, he became silent and began to stare at the floor. After some time passed, Saline looked up at the troopers and said, “I think I need an attorney.” He also indicated that he wanted to come in with an attorney and talk more.

On September 12, 2017, police received the lab report containing the results of the evidence analysis. The conclusion of the drug identification results was:

– The white powder from the two bags weighed a total of 0.029g and contained fentanyl.
– A composite sample of the residue from the bag pieces contained fentanyl.
– The residue from the straw contained fentanyl.

On October 18, 2017, police received the MDN (Mobile Data Number) records for the both Saline and the victim, pursuant to search warrants through Verizon and AT&T wireless. The results were reviewed and entered evidence at PSP Punxsutawney. The text message content made it apparent that the Saline is involved in criminal activity, namely the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. Multiple numbers were discovered asking Saline for buns, bunnies, white, brown, zannys, bars, zips, sweeper, buds, green, and rabbit; which are all names or abbreviations associated with illegal drugs and all were linked with cash to purchase. More namely, on August 28, 2017, at 1:18 p.m., a text message was sent to Saline stating, “Yo u got more Rolex,” according to the complaint.

On November 2, 2017, around 10:00 a.m., police received the forensic pathologist report of the victim’s autopsy and the toxicology report from Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Carl Abrahamson. The autopsy concluded that the victim died as a result of fentanyl toxicity. The toxicology report showed 14 ng/ml of fentanyl in the victim’s blood. The forensic toxicologist indicated that in fatalities from fentanyl, the blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/ml.

On November 9, 2017, police received a copy of the victim’s Death Certificate from Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Carl Abrahamson, and the victim’s immediate cause of death was listed as fentanyl toxicity.

The victim’s cell phone was examined at the Northwest Computer Crime Unit; all relevant data pertaining to the investigation was exported in report form to a CD. Police were able to locate 23 different contacts between the victim’s cell phone, and Saline’s cell phone. The CD containing the cell phone data was entered into evidence.

Based on his investigation, the following charges were filed against Saline on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at the office of District Judge Gregory M Bazylak:

– Drug Delivery Resulting In Death, Felony 1
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3
– Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg, Misdemeanor
– Involuntary Manslaughter, Misdemeanor 1
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

The Pennsylvania State Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Saline.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

He is 6’0″, weighing approximately 210 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

If anyone has any information on Saline’s whereabouts, please call 911 or PSP-Punxsutawney at 814-938-0510.

Caution should be used, as Saline has resisted arrest in the past.


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