Sherman Twp. man arraigned on drug charges in case related to Ludington teen’s death.

January 17, 2018

Sherman Twp. man arraigned on drug charges in case related to Ludington teen’s death.

#MasonCountyCrime.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Paul James Saya, 52, of 3816 N. Tuttle Road, Sherman Township was arraigned today in 79th District Court at the Mason County Courthouse on drug charges that stemmed from the Oct. 16, 2017 traffic crash death of 16-year-old Henry MacDougall of Ludington.

Saya was arrested Tuesday on a two count warrant, which included charges of controlled substance — maintaining a drug house, a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years imprisonment and/or a $25,000 fine, and controlled substance — possession of marijuana/synthetic equivalents, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine.

A preliminary examination is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Jan. 31. Bail was set at $5,000, 10% deposit.

Cole said law enforcement personnel are also searching for Saya’s 19-year-old son, Mason Saya, of the same residence, who is wanted on the same two charges.

Henry MacDougall died after his vehicle crashed into a semi-truck and trailer at the intersection of US 31 and Sugar Grove Road in Sherman Township. MacDougall was west-bound on Sugar Grove Road and failed to stop for the intersection. According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, MacDougall had traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his body.

Sheriff Cole said while the charges against Saya and his son are not directly related to MacDougall’s death, the circumstances behind the death led to investigators seeking the drug warrants. He said detectives had obtained a Snapchat video taken of MacDougall within two hours of the crash showing him “dabbing,” which is using a type of inhaler to ingest a drug. In this case, Cole said, MacDougall was dabbing a highly concentrated form of marijuana wax.

“That video led us to the person who posted it, which then led us to a house on a search warrant,” Cole said.

“I want to emphasize that this is not a case against the legality of marijuana,” Cole said. “This is a case of a young man who died on a highway in our county, along with parents and a family who buried their 16-year-old son, and a truck driver who was so traumatized by the incident that he left his career.”

Cole said the sheriff’s office was assisted by the Michigan State Police and the local drug team, SSCENT.

“We are hoping that the other suspect does the right thing and turns himself in,” Cole said.

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