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4 arrested on drug counts; involved in two drug OD's

Published June 24. 2011 05:00PM

Nesquehoning police reported the arrest of four individuals on drug and related charges who were also involved in two drug overdose incidents.

Police identified the four as Paul Nicholas Niedzialek, 20, of 8 W. Center St.; Jeffery Bresnak, 19, of 13 W. Catawissa St.; and Melissa Lynn Snyder, 46, also of 13 W. Catawissa St.; and Kevin Harte, no age given, of 1468 Sunbury Road, Minersville.

Police gave the following account of what happened.

On Friday, March 11, about 1:16 p.m., Officer Timothy Wuttke was dispatched to 13 W. Catawissa St. for a reported drug overdose. Upon arrival with ambulance personnel, entry was made to the home. Snyder led police and ambulance personnel to the living room where Harte was found lying on a love seat wet, unresponsive and barely breathing.

Snyder said she was Harte's mother and that she did not know what happened but that her son was a recovering heroin user. While being examined a fresh needle mark was found by emergency personnel. Questioned again on what happened Snyder and others present said they didn't know.

Wuttke continued to press Snyder for details and learned that Harte was carried downstairs from a bedroom on the third floor and had water thrown on him in an attempt to bring him out of his current condition. Harte was given medication by the emergency personnel that brought him out of his current condition.

Snyder took Wuttke to the bedroom where he was told Harte was sharing the room with Bresnak, her other son. Snyder at first hesitated to give the officer permission to search the room, but consented and limited the search to only the bedroom.

Wuttke searched the room and found several items associated with drug use including six needles, two of which were in a black glass case, empty wax packets commonly used for holding heroin, spoons and bottle caps with residue and cotton on them used for mixing heroin. Also found by Wuttke was an identification card for Niedzialek. Snyder told Wuttke that Niedzialek was also staying in the room the past few days.

Asked if Niedzialek was in the room that day, he was told he was along with Harte and Bresnak. A statement was taken from Snyder and her husband, Dennis Snyder.

Wuttke, along with Police Chief Sean Smith, later interviewed Harte at the hospital when he was conscious and alert. He told officers he had a previous injury and was self-medicating for pain by using heroin. He said he purchased a bag of heroin from Niedzialek for $20 and the three went to Snyder's home.

At the home Harte told the officers he shot the bag of heroin into his body in the bathroom of the home. He denied the drug paraphernalia found in the room was his.

Later at the police station Harte and Niedzialek arrived. Harte gave a written statement of what happened at the home. Niedzialek was then interviewed. He admitted the drug paraphernalia found on a dresser and under the bed were his, which he used to for shooting, holding and mixing heroin.

During the interview Niedzialek said Bresnak said he could get some heroin and would call his supplier. They obtained four bags of heroin, Niedzialek said.

The three and Melissa Snyder went upstairs where he mixed his bag and shot it; Bresnak mixed his bag and shot it; and Harte mixed his but Niedzialek did not actually see Harte shooting up. The fourth bag, according to Niedzialek, was snorted by Snyder.

Niedzialek said he then left the home but later received a call from Bresnak stating Harte had overdosed.

Bresnak, Wuttke said in his affidavit for probable cause, did not come to the police station for an interview.

On March 29 Smith and Officer Dane O'Brien arrested Bresnak and Melissa Snyder on warrants from an unrelated case. Both were taken back to the police station for processing where Bresnak agreed to waive his rights and speak with Smith.

His statement mirrored, for the most part, what Niedzialek had said in the prior interview as to what happened the day Harte overdosed.

Snyder was also interviewed after waiving her rights and at first denied any knowledge of the incident. She later admitted she was in the room and also snorted a bag of heroin. She further said she was in the room with Harte, Niedzialek and Bresnak when the heroin was handed out. She also claimed she did not see Harte use his heroin.

The other overdose occurred on Jan. 30 at the same residence. In that incident Officers Robert Blisard and Brian White responded to the home. Police and ambulance personnel found Bresnak passed out with his lips and fingertips blue. Snyder said she found him in an upstairs bedroom passed out. She stated there was a needle and two baggies that she found and flushed down the toilet. A search of Bresnak's bedroom found nothing. His wallet was also searched. He was taken to the Lehighton hospital for treatment.

Snyder has been charged with possession of a controlled substance (CS), criminal conspiracy-possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and unsworn falsification to authorities.

Niedzialek, Bresnak and Harte have been charged with the same counts, accept the unsworn falsification charge. All were arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek, of Lansford, with bail set at $5,000 on each defendant. Police did not indicate if bail was posted by any of the defendants.

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