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Former Missing Lansdale Man Gets 23 Months for Drug Dealing

Joseph W. Sarni, 38, of the 500 block of Walnut Street, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to felony drug dealing charges from June 2012 in Lansdale.

A Lansdale man, who went missing for three months last year, is headed to Montgomery prison for three to 23 months after pleading guilty Wednesday to felony drug dealing, according to Peg Gibbons of The Intelligencer.

Joseph W. Sarni, 38, of the 500 block of Walnut Street, will begin his jail term at 6 p.m. March 1, according to court records.

Gibbons reported Sarni must also perform 12 hours of community service and pay $300 in fines.

Sarni, who has been a DJ across the United States and attended Upper Dublin High School, sold and delivered drugs in Lansdale Borough via his bicycle, according to court records. 

On two occasions, Sarni sold cocaine, Buprenorphine, Naloxone and Suboxone to a confidential informant working with Lansdale Police, police said.

Two weeks after his reported disappearance, Lansdale Police filed felony drug charges against Sarni in July 2012. An outstanding felony drug warrant was issued by District Judge Catherine McGill of Oreland on July 18.

The warrant charged Sarni with the following narcotics offenses:

  • Felony Possession with Intent To Deliver a Controlled Substance
  • Four counts of Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Misdemeanor Possession With Intent To Use Drug Paraphernalia
  • Misdemeanor Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana
  • Misdemeanor Receipt in Commerce

Sarni turned himself in to Lansdale Police on the drug charges on Oct. 9. He did not reveal to police were he was for more than three months.

Lansdale Police said they surveilled Sarni during an alleged drug transaction with a confidential informant in June 2012.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Lansdale Police Drug Task Force received information from an informant in June 2012 that Sarni was selling various controlled substances in Lansdale, including cocaine, marijuana and pharmaceutical narcotics. Police said he operated his alleged drug business from his Walnut Street apartment.

Police said Sarni would use his bicycle to deliver drugs.

An investigation of Sarni began in June 2012. Police observed Sarni coming and going from his apartment on his bike. On two occasions, Sarni was followed to two different locations where he entered residences, according to the affidavit.

In June 2012, an informant made two controlled buys from Sarni of cocaine, Buprenorphine and Naloxone, according to the affidavit.

On June 25, Lansdale Police met with the informant to arrange the purchase of Suboxone from Sarni, police said.

The informant contacted Sarni via cell phone, and Sarni agreed to meet on West Fifth Street near Walnut Street.

At 2:56 p.m. June 25, a Lansdale officer staking out Sarni's apartment saw Sarni leave his apartment on bike and travel south on Walnut Street to Fifth Street, according to the affidavit.

The informant was followed by police and met with Sarni on the unit block of West Fifth Street, according to the affidavit.

At 3:03 p.m., June 25, police witnessed a hand-to-hand drug deal between the informant and Sarni, according to the affidavit. Both subjects then departed in different directions.

Police met with the informant, who handed over a tin foil wrapper with an orange strip stamped "N8," according to the affidavit. The contents of the wrapper was revealed to be Suboxone.

Two warrants were obtained for Sarni: one for his apartment and one for his person, according to the affidavit.

On June 29, at 4:37 p.m., the warrant was served on Sarni's apartment.

Found in Sarni's room were the following items, according to the affidavit:

  • 1.6 grams of marijuana
  • A Ziploc-brand bag of cocaine
  • A red tin with 16 pills marked "MR11," later identified as Risperidone (used to treat bipolar disorder)
  • One pill marked "93," later identified as Quetiapine (used to treat schizophrenia)
  • One-half pill of Diazepam
  • A glass pipe with marijuana residue
  • Various papers, including a Rite Aid receipt, a pay stub and a rental agreement in Sarni's name

Do You Want to Know More?

  • Missing Lansdale Man Turns Himself In to Police
  • Family Suspects Foul Play in Disappearance of Lansdale Man
  • Warrant for Drug Felonies Issued Against Missing Lansdale Man

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