FARMINGTON — A Wilton man arrested on a drug charge Wednesday was released from jail Friday on $5,000 bail.

Dennis Ayala, 55, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs. 

The investigation and resulting search warrant of Ayala’s residence was prompted by the overdose death of a Wyman Township man Sunday.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said although information police received at the scene led them to Ayala, he will not be implicated in the victim’s death.

In the court affidavit, written by Detective Stephen Charles of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Andrew Morgan, also of the sheriff’s office, said there was a hypodermic needle with suspected illicit narcotics consistent with heroin or fentanyl within the victim’s reach at the time of his death, along with other indicators including a belt wrapped in the manner of a tourniquet, and spoons with burn marks.

While investigating the death, Morgan was told by a witness that the overdose victim had bought cocaine at Ayala’s residence Saturday and intended to sell it at the Reggae Fest at Sugarloaf that weekend.

Charles found that Ayala had prior interactions with the law concerning drug trafficking and overdoses. On April 23, 2013, police responded to Ayala’s residence for an unattended death.

The victim was Ayala’s daughter, Kelsey Ayala, a decorated Marine, who died of an apparent overdose, possibly an intentional suicide, the affidavit said. She had methadone and oxycodone in her system at the time of her death.

Through a criminal records check, Charles found three prior convictions: unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, a felony, in 1993; aggravated trafficking or furnishing scheduled drugs, a felony, in 1997, and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, a misdemeanor, in 2016.

Ayala’s record prompted a search warrant for his residence. During the interview with Ayala, Charles asked if he recalled meeting with the victim last Saturday. Ayala initially denied it, but then admitted he remembered meeting with him.

According to Ayala, the affidavit reads, the victim was supposed to buy “shrooms,” or psilocybin mushrooms, from Ayala, but only ended up smoking marijuana with him, and bought nothing. Ayala later admitted to Wilcox that he and the witness had decided to combine their resources to purchase “something harder,” but the arrangement fell through.

The search of Ayala’s residence yielded 35 drug-related items, which were seized.

Those items included several thousands of dollars in cash, various scales, several “rocks” of crack cocaine, numerous pipes, razors with white residue, spoons with cotton and burn marks, a package of heroin, EBT cards and debit cards not in Ayala’s name, a container of inositol powder, which is a popular “cutting” agent to increase the amount of product, and “numerous other items related to illicit drug use, packaging and sale,” according to the affidavit.

Ayala’s next court date is scheduled for July 2.

[email protected]

Dennis Ayala (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

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