LAKE ARIEL—Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) charged Nicholas Bufano, Tuesday, with Controlled Substance Drug Device and Cosmetic Act, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility after a nine-month investigation relating to the accidental overdose of a 27-year old Lake Ariel resident last September.
According to a PSP release, the unidentified female victim was discovered by her friend on September 22, 2018.
Initial cause of death was ruled as fentanyl toxicity and the toxicology report found the victim tested positive for 5.9 nanograms/milliliter (ng/ml) of fentanyl, 1.8 ng/ml of norfentanyl, and 13 ng/ml of THC-delta-9-carboxy, a marijuana metabolite.
The cause of death was reaffirmed to be illicit use of fentanyl “...within a reasonable degree of medical certainty...” on June 6, 2019, according to the release.
The investigation was closed near the end of October due to a lack of leads and an inability to get into the victim's phone.
On Halloween 2018, however, the victim's mother notified police she was able to access her daughter's phone “...and discovered that the victim was talking about buying drugs and met with the suspect on 09/21/18,” states the PSP release.
PSP searched the victim's phone in November and found she'd arranged several purchases of heroin/fentanyl and marijuana a few days before her death.
By April 2019, the police were able to trace her contact's number back to Bufano and confirm via his phone records that he had met with the victim and sold her drugs on the aforementioned dates.
A background check revealed Bufano had been arrested by Wyoming State Police on September 22, 2018 “...for possession of a controlled substance, use of drug paraphernalia, and driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs,” according to the release.
It further states Bufano was then arrested on September 25, 2018 by the Lackawanna County Detectives “...for manufacture of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, possession of a controlled substance and use of drug paraphernalia.”
Trooper Walter Koza spoke with Bufano from the Lackawanna County Prison Booking Office in April at which time, “Bufano admits to knowing the victim but denied selling drugs to her.”
PSP filed charges against Bufano relating to the sale to and accidental death of the Lake Ariel victim on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
According to the report, Bufano was awaiting arraignment as of Tuesday afternoon.