WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A state trooper in central Pennsylvania has been charged in two criminal cases.
He is now suspended without pay for his alleged role in a theft scheme. Johnathan Buynak of Troop F in Montoursville was arrested Wednesday. He’s charged with theft by deception and impersonating a public servant in Lycoming County.
According to investigators, it all dates back to this past summer when Trooper Buynak conspired with a Lycoming County woman, Amanda Fenderson, on three different occasions to get money for a fictitious police investigation.
Buynak and Fenderson told another man, Thomas Dykstra, that he needed cash to purchase drugs for a drug bust. Ultimately, Dykstra gave Buynak $900. Authorities say there was never a drug bust and the money was used to help Fenderson pay off debts.
“Well it doesn’t seem to surprise me anyway. Corruptions all over, I mean it’s in every city, not just our city, but it goes unnoticed I think in cities like this so when people hear about it that somebody got caught they’re like, ‘yeah.’ They’re amazed,” Tina White of Williamsport said.
“I think it’s pretty messed up. There’s a lot of police corruption going on, especially in the past couple of years. I’ve been hearing a lot about it and you know, I think it’s time for justice,” Khalil Moore of Williamsport said.
According to court papers, Dykstra was led to believe he would be reimbursed when those funds became available. Buynak was charged with theft by deception and impersonating a public servant.
Buynak is also being charged in a separate criminal complaint. He has been accused of abusing his power as a state trooper and is charged with obstructing the administration of law and two counts of official oppression.
This comes after investigators say Buynak was dispatched to a home for a possible theft and forgery case in which Fenderson was the accused. Buynak never followed up with the case, returned calls, or mentioned he knew Fenderson personally.
“People who have jobs need to stop being corrupted,” White said.
“It’s pretty messed up. It’s pretty much a contradiction,” Moore said.
Trooper Buynak is currently suspended without pay pending the outcome of the charges against him as well as the internal investigation.
Trooper Buynak has worked with the state police for 10 years.