Centre County man jailed, charged after woman overdosed on fentanyl near Bellefonte

A Centre County man was arrested Saturday after a woman overdosed on fentanyl he’s accused of selling to her.

Brett D. Oliphant, 23, of Ferguson Township, was charged days after first responders revived a 29-year-old Spring Township woman with the opioid-overdose antidote Narcan, state police at Rockview wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.

Oliphant and the woman discussed a drug deal through text messages, police wrote. He warned her to be careful, describing the drug as “wayyy stronger,” police wrote.

Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller many times more powerful than heroin, typically prescribed to treat severe pain. It frequently appears as an illegal street drug mixed with other substances.

Experts say the growing prevalence of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply is a top driver of the increasing number of overdose deaths in the U.S.

“I’m not tryna kill nobody,” Oliphant wrote in a text. The woman was transported to a hospital where “life sustaining measures were performed,” police wrote.

Oliphant, in an interview with investigators, admitted to selling fentanyl pills to at least four people, police wrote. Troopers found several fentanyl pills in his residence, as well as other drugs and paraphernalia, police wrote.

His defense lawyer deferred comment Monday, saying he had not yet had an opportunity to meet with Oliphant.

He was charged with one felony count each of possession with intent to deliver and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as three misdemeanors.

Oliphant was arraigned Saturday by District Judge Gregory Koehle, who set bail at $100,000. He did not post bail and is incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.