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Hearing Continued for Inmate Accused of Passing Another Inmate Synthetic Drugs at Clarion County Jail
According to a court official, a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, February 4, for 49-year-old William Richard Cole, of Somerset, was continued.
The time and date for when the hearing will resume have not yet been scheduled.
Cole faces the following charges:
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (three counts)
– Contraband/Controlled Substance, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Possess Controlled Substance, Contraband/Inmate, Felony 2
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
The charges stem from an investigation into an incident at the Clarion County Jail last summer.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, around 5:39 p.m. on June 5, 2019, an inmate at the Clarion County Jail reported a medical emergency in a D Block cell to a corrections officer. The officer responded to the cell and observed Cory A. Boyle laying on the floor of the cell unresponsive, with another inmate, identified as William Richard Cole, standing over top of him.
The complaint notes Cole was not authorized to be in that particular cell. The complaint also notes the corrections officers observed smoke inside the cell when they entered.
Boyle was then removed from the cell. According to the complaint, he became combative after being removed and had to be restrained. He was then transported to the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room and was admitted into the hospital for a day.
The complaint states a search of Boyle located a burnt “blunt” piece of paper and two batteries, which an investigation found Boyle had removed from the cellblock TV remote.
Chief Detective William Peck, of CNET, then reviewed surveillance video of the cellblock during the time leading up to the incident.
According to the complaint, at 5:20 p.m. Cole and Boyle were in the common area of the block. Cole then entered his cell, and Boyle removed the batters from the remote and returned to his cell. A short time later, Cole exited his cell, walked into Boyle’s cell, and placed a towel over the window of the cell.
At 5:28 p.m., the video showed Boyle’s cellmate hitting the door of his cell and looking inside, then entering the cell and calling for the corrections officers.
The complaint notes that Cole was returned to SCI Marienville on June 10, 2019. The following day, a known inmate approached a corrections officer and asked to speak to Deputy Warden Blose.
According to the complaint, the inmate reported he had drugs that he obtained from Cole before he was sent back to SCI Marienville. The inmate turned over two sheets of white legal paper, a blunt, and particles of a teabag. The inmate explained the legal paper contained a synthetic drug known as “K2.”
Chief Detective Peck interviewed the inmate on June 12. The inmate allegedly stated that after Boyle was taken to the hospital, Cole was “bragging that he could not even handle ‘one hit’ of the stuff.” The inmate said he befriended Cole, and Cole explained that he had a letter sent “legal mail” that was sprayed or dipped in K2.
According to the complaint, the inmate stated he convinced Cole to give him some to try. He explained he abused drugs in the past, including K2 substances, and stated he did smoke the piece of paper that Cole provided him and claimed contained K2. The inmate reported he did get high from the paper and believed the entire sheet contained K2.
The complaint states the inmate said he continued to talk to Cole, and Cole had stated he obtained the papers and was going to return to SCI and give them to the “bloods.” The inmate said he convinced Cole to have a corrections officer make copies of the papers and provide the “bloods” with the photocopies, and reported one of the guards did photocopy the papers containing the K2.
He also allegedly stated that before Cole left, he was provided with two sheets of the paper containing the K2 substance, and gave the inmate one of the sheets of paper by sliding it through the crack of his cell, as he was on lockdown at the time.
Chief Detective Peck then reviewed surveillance footage of when Cole was returned to SCI Marienville. According to the complaint, the video showed Cole carrying his belongings from his cell down to the first floor. Cole then stopped at the bottom of the steps and placed his belongings on the floor.
The complaint states Cole was then seen walking with a white piece of paper in his hand to the known inmate’s cell, the door of which was blocked by another inmate and the stairs in the video. Cole then returned to his belongings, without the white paper in his hands.
Following the initial investigation, the Clarion County Jail contacted SCI Marienville and made them aware Cole may have been in possession of controlled substances. Corrections officers at SCI Marienville then conducted a cell search and located approximately 20 “roaches” consistent with what was found in Boyle’s cell.
On June 17, 2019, Chief Detective Peck contacted SCI Somerset, where Cole had been transferred from SCI Marienville, and spoke to a corrections officer. According to the complaint, the corrections officer stated that on June 15, Cole had been acting strangely in the unit, and then admitted to smoking K2. The officer stated two sheets of paper were seized from Cole’s cell, and both tested positive for cumyl-4CN-BINACA, a synthetic schedule one controlled substance.
The complaint notes the type of paper seized, and the text content of the paper was consistent with the papers seized at the Clarion County Jail.
The papers seized at the Clarion County Jail were also sent to the Erie Regional Lab. According to the complaint, an analysis of the papers showed they contained two synthetic cannabinoids, both of which are schedule one controlled substances.
The charges against Cole were filed through Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office on July 17, 2019.
Court documents indicate Boyle was sentenced to a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years, to be served consecutive to his previous sentence, on one count of first-degree misdemeanor contraband/non-controlled substance on December 18, 2019, in relation to the incident.
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