A Penn Run man facing charges of drug delivery resulting in the death of an Altoona man is now facing additional charges after he displayed a gun as police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant.
Eldon Allen Sajko, 52, was arrested Sept. 8 on a warrant in the death of Joseph Charles Sr., 41.
According to previous reports, 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 Charles, who was found in an upstairs bathroom. Efforts to revive him using Narcan were unsuccessful, police reported.
During a months long investigation, state police worked to trace the drugs responsible for Charles’ death. A tip led police to Sajko, who told police he purchased the drugs from Brian Scott Davenport Jr., 32, of Blairsville, who has also been charged in Charles’ death.
When members of the Blair County Drug Task Force and the Indiana County Drug Task Force went to Sajko’s residence along Route 422 in Penn Run to serve the arrest warrant, Sajko emerged from the rear of the home with a handgun. When police identified themselves and told Sajko they needed to talk to him, he allegedly stated, “I don’t believe you” and raised the gun into the air. He told officers to get off his property. Officers backed away as Sajko went behind the residence. State police, attorney general agents and a state police helicopter arrived to assist. At one point, officers in the helicopter spotted Sajko leaving the rear of the residence and driving into a wooded area behind his property.
A woman driving a minivan came down the hill and said she came from Sajko’s residence. She said Sajko sent her down the hill because she needed to get medication from a pharmacy and he wanted her to see why the police were there.
After the helicopter lost sight of Sajko, the large police presence was removed and surveillance was conducted in unmarked vehicles. Sajko then called the woman who told him the police had a warrant for his arrest. Sajko then hung up, but called again.
Police convinced him to meet them at the top of the hill, and he was taken into custody.
Sajko told the police where the handgun was located beneath a bucket at the rear of his residence, and said he got it from a friend for self-defense. The Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun was located, and when police ran the serial number, it was reported stolen through state police at Ebensburg. Sajko admitted having other guns in the home that he used for hunting.
Because he has a multi-state criminal history, including a felony drug conviction in Polk County, Florida, Sajko is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, police said.
A search warrant for his residence turned up eight additional guns and ammunition. Police also located suspected methamphetamine and US currency. At that point, the search was suspended and police sought and obtained a search warrant to include narcotics and currency. The second search turned up cash in an ATV in the backyard, cash and methamphetamine in a feed bag in a rear shed, two additional firearms, a bag of suspected cocaine, a small piece of methamphetamine in the garage, two digital scales, a blue clear container with residue, $60 under the living room couch, a zip bag of meth in a desk in the garage and a container with SD cards and a DVR.
In this case, Sajko faces 11 felony charges of possession of a firearm prohibited, felony charges of possession with intent to deliver, dealing in prohibited acts, receiving stolen property and flight to avoid apprehension, along with misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
His preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 23 before Magisterial District Judge Benjamin F. Jones.
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