DuBOIS — A 35-year-old DuBois man has been charged by Sandy Township police following a drug-related incident near the DuBois Mall.

On Sept. 17, the police charged Matthew J. Shaffer with two misdemeanor counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered and one misdemeanor count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed at District Judge Patrick Ford’s office in DuBois, the charges stem from an incident which occurred at 7:38 p.m. April 29, 2017, at the DuBois Mall, Shaffer Road, for a report of a man slumped over the wheel of a vehicle. The vehicle was described as a silver GMC Envoy. Upon arrival, EMS was already on the scene speaking with the man. The police were advised by EMS personnel of a hypodermic needle that was observed on the floorboard of the vehicle on the driver’s side.

The man, seated in the driver seat, was identified as Shaffer, who appeared to be under the influence, the affidavit said. He was semi-alert with slow speech and in a groggy state. The police asked the defendant what was wrong and he indicated he was tired. The defendant stepped out of the vehicle so EMS could evaluate him safely. He was slow to move and had a slight stagger.

A police officer advised the defendant he would be conducting a quick pat down for weapons or objects that could cause injury to ensure safety of everyone present, the affidavit said. The police reportedly immediately saw in plain view protruding from the man’s right watch pocket of his pants a clear stamp bag containing a clear/white residue and crystalized substance. The substance and how it was packaged was consistent with illegal narcotics, specifically methamphetamine, the report says.

The defendant was placed under arrest and during the search, a small clear sandwich baggy containing suspected marijuana was found in his left pocket. Additionally, $731 and a $100 Visa gift card were also found, the affidavit said.

During the search, a small black safe was found behind the driver’s seat on the back seat along with an electronic scale. The safe contained the following various items commonly used as drug-related paraphernalia: Two prescription bottles issued to the defendant but containing multiple types of pills (some whole, some split, some crushed) not associated with the prescription on the label, the affidavit said. Also found were hypodermic needles, an X-acto knife and empty used stamp-sized bags.

Shaffer was released from custody and taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands DuBois for evaluation.

At the police station, the suspected methamphetamine and marijuana were tested and both tested positive. The items were then sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab in Erie for drug identification. The report received indicated: 2.2 grams schedule (II) of meth and .5 grams of marijuana.

Shaffer’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Ford’s office.

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