Area man arranged in drug delivery death | News, Sports, Jobs

A Penn Run man accused in the February overdose of death of an Altoona man is behind bars after being unable to post $500,000 cash bail.

Eldon Allen Sajko, 52, was arraigned Thursday evening before Magisterial District Judge Paula M. Aigner on felony charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver and criminal use of a communication facility, along with misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was remanded to the Blair County Prison. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21 before Magisterial District Judge Benjamin F. Jones.

According to court documents, police responded on Feb. 18 to a home on the 1600 block of 20th Avenue to investigate a drug overdose resulting in the death of Joseph Charles Sr. The 41-year-old was found in an upstairs bathroom, and efforts to revive him using Narcan were unsuccessful, police reported. Police found a spoon and syringe on the floor beside Charles. On top of the toilet, police saw in plain view an open white envelope containing at least 100 wax packets of heroin and several used wax packets of heroin, all stamped in green lettering with the word “X-BOX.”

An autopsy showed Charles’ cause of death to be multiple drug intoxication, with the drugs being fentanyl and xylazine.

During a months long investigation, state police worked to trace the drugs responsible for Charles’ death. Family members said he had been clean for seven years, but in the fall of 2021, Charles admitted that he had a heroin and fentanyl addiction, court documents state.

Police received a tip that Charles bought his drugs from “Farmer” in Ebensburg, and an agent from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General linked Charles’ cellphone information to an address that “Farmer” provided via text message to Charles. Police then identified “Farmer” as Eldon Sajko, who was interviewed in March about his role in Charles’ death.

In an interview that was recorded, Sajko admitted to knowing Charles for about seven to eight months and said after supplying Charles with two bricks of heroin on two separate occasions, Charles then showed him a badge and said he was a DEA agent and that Sajko was going to “working” for him. Sajko said he then provided him with about four bricks of heroin weekly.

As Sajko was leaving the police station, he stated “I apologize, I cannot believe what I gave him killed him,” the report states.

According to court documents, a warrant for Sajko’s arrest was issued on Thursday.

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