Oil City Man Due in Court on Wednesday on Drug Charges

| December 1, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for an Oil City man on drug charges.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing for 35-year-old Eric David Sabin is scheduled for Wednesday, December 4, at 1:30 p.m. in Venango County Central Court with Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey presiding.

Sabin faces the following charges:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Misdemeanor
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

The charges stem from a traffic stop on State Route 417 late last year.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, Sr. Patrolman Highfield and Patrolman Johnson were on patrol on Rocky Grove Avenue around 1:04 a.m. on December 2, 2018, when they came upon a sedan that seemed to be accelerating and noted that each time it went around a bend, it was cutting the bend short and traveling over the painted divider line in the road. When the vehicle reached 68 miles per hour in a posted 45 mile per hour zone, Patrolman Highfield initiated a traffic stop in the 2000 block of State Route 417, just after Keely Road.

Patrolman Highfield then made contact with the driver, identified as Eric David Sabin and advised Sabin of the reason for the stop.

According to the complaint, Sabin stated he was “trying to get away from the vehicle headlights because they were too bright.”

It was observed that Sabin’s pupils were extremely constricted and were only around 1.5 mm in diameter, which is consistent with narcotic use. It was also noticed that Sabin was speaking in a low, raspy voice and his movements seemed to be slow, except when he was trying to avoid light. Sabin also made several remarks about Patrolman Highfield’s flashlight being too bright, although it was pointed at the ground.

Sabin was then asked to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety testing.

According to the complaint, during the testing, Sabin exhibited multiple signs of being under the influence. He was then placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI.

The complaint states that a search of Sabin located a small container of suspected methamphetamine, which Sabin allegedly confirmed was methamphetamine without questioning or prompting. A search of Sabin’s vehicle then found a tourniquet and a small amount of marijuana.

Sabin was then transported to UPMC Northwest for a blood draw, which he consented to, however, the phlebotomist and nurses were unable to draw blood from Sabin.

The officers then applied for and were granted a search warrant for Sabin’s vehicle.

According to the complaint, a search of the vehicle discovered 112 Gabapentin pills, seven Xanax pills, a cell phone, and Amazon tablet, three notebooks with “owe sheets,” a daily pill holder containing assorted pills, a small amount of marijuana, a digital scale, a jewelry analyzing kit, $212 in cash, currency from Zambia, Argentina, and Indonesia, a silver container of unknown pills and suspected acid tablets, one glass pipe with a small amount of marijuana, a paper prescription for a known man, clear unused plastic containers for packaging, and one technology bag.

The items were all seized and packaged as evidence. The silver container with the unknown pills and suspected acid tablets were sent to Erie Regional Laboratory for drug identification.

Charges were filed against Sabin on October 24.


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