Tionesta Man Charged in Fentanyl Death, Two Others Face Related Drug Charges

| May 4, 2018

CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced felony charges against three Clarion County defendants accused of delivering fentanyl to a 22-year-old Limestone Township woman, resulting in her fatal overdose.

“If you give someone drugs and it causes their death, you’re facing a first-degree felony and jail,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I am using every tool we have to hold dealers who sell heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drugs, accountable for the pain and death they’re causing across Pennsylvania. Where it’s appropriate, that includes the charge of drug delivery resulting in death.”

Court documents indicate the Clarion-based State Police filed criminal charges against 27-year-old Dustin James Schmader, of Tionesta, 28-year-old Richard L. Ganci III, currently lodged at SCI Chester, and 29-year-old Shayla Lynn Ganci, of Shippenville.

According to a criminal complaint, a Grand Jury was convened on April 20, 2018. The Grand Jury heard testimony and received evidence from February 25, 2017, when 22-year-old Megan McLean was found dead at a residence in Limestone Township, Clarion County.

A Clarion-based State Police officer observed a purse in close proximity to her body. A plastic bag with two empty and one full red-checkered stamp bags along with a syringe were found inside of her purse. The officer also observed an injection site on McLean’s interior left elbow.

The PSP Crime Laboratory conducted an analysis of the full stamp bag and determined that it contained Fentanyl, a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

An investigation into McLean’s death commenced.

Abdulrezak Shakir, M.D., Deputy Medical Examiner of the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on February 27, 2017, and concluded that McLean died as a result of Fentanyl toxicity.

The Grand Jury heard testimony concerning the Clarion-based State Police officer’s investigation of the source of the lethal Fentanyl, and three individuals were identified with direct knowledge of the Fentanyl that caused the death of McLean: Dustin Schmader, Richard Ganci III, and Shayla Ganci.

Search warrants were served to obtain the data and records for cellular telephones belonging to McLean and Schmader, as well as the data and records for a cellular telephone that was recovered from the Ganci residence. That data, in conjunction with witness statements and the confessions of Schmader, R. Ganci, and S. Ganci, led to the determination that McLean received the fatal Fentanyl from Schmader who had purchased it with R. Ganci and S. Ganci from a known source.

According to the complaint, on February 23, 2017, Schmader contacted R. Ganci to purchase heroin. R. Ganci and S. Ganci agreed and traveled to a location near Berlin, Pa., with Schmader. R. Ganci contacted his source, “Rich” and made arrangements for the drug transaction. “Rich” then sent an unidentified courier to deliver 50 stamp bags to R. Ganci at the pre-arranged location. Schmader paid for the drugs and he, R. Ganci, and S. Ganci used some of the drugs together.

Later that evening, and again on February 24, 2017, Schmader suffered at least three non-fatal overdoses while at the Ganci residence. R. Ganci and S. Ganci admitted that they knew that they had received Fentanyl from “Rich” instead of heroin.

On February 24, 2017, Schmader delivered three bags of Fentanyl to McLean at a location near the Clarion Mall. These bags were ultimately found at the scene of her death.

Based on the investigation, Schmader was arraigned at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office on the following charges:

– Drug Delivery Resulting In Death, Felony 1
– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)

Unable to post $100,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, with Judge Schill presiding.

Shayla Lynn Ganci was arraigned at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, in Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office on the following charges:

– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)

Unable to post $50,000.00 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:45 pm on Tuesday, May 8, with Judge Schill presiding.

The following charges were filed against Richard L. Ganci III on Thursday, May 3, in Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office:

– Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (two counts)

Richard Ganci is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.

He is currently lodged at SCI Chester on drug-related charges.

“This arrest is a result of strong law enforcement collaboration and an effective use of an investigating grand jury,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I’d like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police, Clarion County Drug Task Force, Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron, and the members of the grand jury for their help in bringing these drug dealers to justice.”

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