Sayre man arrested in connection with fatal overdose
Sayre police arrested a 23-year-old Sayre man Tuesday morning following investigation into a December 2013 fatal heroin overdose.
Police took Dustin James Onofre, 23, into custody at around 8 a.m. Tuesday at his West Lockhart Street residence, according to borough police.
Police charged Onofre with drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility, according to a criminal complaint filed by borough police with Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw's office.
Onofre was arraigned Tuesday before Judge Shaw and remanded to the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail. Onofre is scheduled to appear Jan. 28 for a preliminary hearing in district court.
Police said Onofre sold heroin Dec. 19 to 21-year-old Cody McNaughton of Sayre, who died early Dec. 20 at his South Elmer Avenue residence.
Officers were dispatched to the residence at about 1:55 a.m. Dec. 20, where police found McNaughton unresponsive and without a pulse, police said. Officers and paramedics attempted to revive McNaughton but were unsuccessful; according to police, McNaughton was pronounced dead at the scene.
McNaughton returned home at around 11 p.m. Dec. 19 from playing guitar at an Athens bar, then told his mother he was going to bed, his mother told police. McNaughton's mother found him unresponsive at about 1:55 a.m. while checking on him, police said.
Police seized McNaughton's cellphone as evidence and discovered text messages between him and Onofre, police said. According to police, Onofre texted McNaughton Dec. 18 offering to sell him heroin, stating that this particular kind "was the best I've done in two years, hands down" and "you need to get some dough and try these."
Police said McNaughton texted Onofre at about 10:12 p.m. Dec. 19 to purchase heroin from him, and Onofre left the heroin in his garage for McNaughton to pick up.
A man who drove McNaughton home from the bar told police that McNaughton asked him to stop at Onofre's on the way home to drop off money, police said. The driver told police that he thought McNaughton had stopped using heroin and questioned him about stopping, but McNaughton said he just owed money to Onofre, police said.
Police obtained a search warrant for Onofre's residence, which police served at about 7:24 a.m. Dec. 20, according to police. After knocking on the door repeatedly with no response, police gained access via the front door of the residence and detained Onofre and a woman at the residence while police searched the house, police said.
Onofre agreed to fully cooperate with police and stated that he felt horrible for McNaughton's death, as the two were friends, police said. According to police, Onofre directed officers to a container holding multiple prescription narcotics, none of for which Onofre had a prescription; 19 full bindles of heroin marked with a gold skull and spider web, matching a package found at the time of McNaughton's death; 10 empty bindles with the same markings; 29 empty wax bags; and a plastic straw used to snort heroin. Police also took Onofre's cellphone, police said.
In an interview with police Dec. 20, Onofre told police he obtained the heroin from a drug dealer in Williamsport and then gives it to another male who sells it for him, police said. Police later interviewed the male, who stated he purchases heroin from Onofre for personal use and has never sold it on Onofre's behalf, according to police.
Onofre originally told police that he only sold McNaughton a Suboxone pill, but later said he left a bag of heroin for McNaughton in his garage to pick up, police said.
Onofre also told police that he is on pre-trial bail out of Broome County, N.Y. for heroin possession and was also arrested in June 2013 in Williamsport for heroin possession.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.