ZANESVILLE, Ohio —
A Nashport man charged in the 2021 death of a local high school student pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information containing one second-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs, according to Ron Welch, Muskingum County Prosecutor.
Detectives from the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office determined 22-year-old Mason Buck sold a fatal dose of fentanyl to the teenage victim in the spring of 2021.
The 18-year-old high school senior was discovered unresponsive in her bed on May 2 after the family dog alerted her parents to her condition.
Her father “began performing CPR on his youngest daughter as they desperately awaited first responders to arrive,” Assistant Prosecutor John Litle said in court.
She was pronounced dead at Genesis Hospital within an hour.
Throughout the investigation, detectives learned from friends of the victim that the teen suffered from a drug addiction, which escalated from marijuana to Xanax and Percocet. Her condition was fueled by Buck who regularly sold her the narcotics.
Friends confirmed that Buck delivered drugs to the victim’s driveway where he handed them off to her in his car. Her addiction became noticeably dangerous to the victim’s friends, prompting them to beg Buck to stop dealing to her because the drugs were killing her.
He responded to their concerned pleas by saying “It’s not my fault. I’m just the drug dealer. Why are you blaming me? I have nothing to do with this.”
Three weeks shy of her high school graduation and one month after her 18th birthday, the victim’s promising life was taken when Buck’s pills killed her.
The teen ultimately overdosed on what she believed to be a Percocet 30, but as is common with street-obtained prescriptions, it was actually a pressed fentanyl pill.
Buck sold the pills to the victim and even drove her to an ATM to get money out of her account for the transaction.
After the plea hearing, Judge Mark Fleegle ordered Buck to be held in jail without bond.
Buck faces a mandatory prison term ranging from two to 12 years when he is sentenced at a later date.
The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office and Muskingum County law enforcement continue to aggressively pursue cases against individuals who cause injuries or death to others by selling and distributing poison.