Man facing charges in connection with OD death of woman

From staff reports

A Petrolia man is facing charges in connection with the overdose death of an Emlenton woman in March.

Emlenton police said in a criminal complaint they were on routine patrol March 29 when they found a man they were looking for in connection with another incident. A woman who was with the man said she needed to check on another woman, later identified as Samantha Vera, who was on the floor in a nearby apartment, the complaint said.

Through the course of the investigation, police determined that William Raub, 34, had delivered a mixture of fentanyl, tramadol and fluorofentanyl to Vera, the complaint said.

While police were taking the man into custody for the unrelated incident, Emlenton Fire Department and Emlenton Ambulance Service personnel arrived to respond to Vera, who had overdosed and was later determined to be deceased by Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh.

EMS personnel told police the room where Vera was found appeared to be “cleaned up” and the timeline the woman had given the fire department did not appear to be consistent with the timeline given to paramedics as to how long Vera had been down.

After obtaining a search warrant for the apartment, police found drugs and items associated with drug use, the complaint said.

Police obtained Vera’s cellphone and were able to extract data from the phone, the complaint said.

Police found a conversation between Raub and Vera via Facebook messenger regarding the distribution of drugs showing Raub provided drugs to Vera on three occasions, the last of which was on March 29, the day of her death, the complaint said.

Video surveillance footage from the residence shows Raub arriving at the residence at about 4 p.m. March 29, entering the residence and leaving about 10 minutes later, the complaint said.

At about 4:30 p.m. the video shows a woman banging on the door of the residence calling for “Sam,” the complaint said.

On April 22, Emlenton police were granted a search warrant for Raub’s Facebook account and Facebook messenger beginning March 23, the complaint said.

Upon reviewing Raub’s messages, police found he had arranged or tried to arrange drug deliveries to at least seven people on 23 occasions in which he offered to sell or trade drugs for money or other drugs, the complaint said.

In addition, police determined that at least five people communicated and facilitated the delivery of drugs to Vera that caused her death, the complaint said.

Raub was arraigned Wednesday and charged with felony counts of drug delivery resulting in death, corrupt organization- employee, conspiracy- criminal use of a communication facility and manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

He was placed in the Venango County jail with bail denied, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled next week in Central Court.