DA Gardner issues statement after local fake news reports on Myrtle Beach case

Todd Bartley, Talkwilliamsport.com



TalkWilliamsport.com exclusively broke the story of Lycoming County Detective Weber retiring after being presented with the unsealed OAG search warrants.

The unsealed OAG search warrants were first obtained by TalkWilliamsport.com.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Multiple local print and digital media outlets then began engaging in a plagiarism campaign of information from this media outlet. Information that has been exclusively reported by this media outlet for nearly four years.

Having never filed a single Right to Know Law or Freedom of Information request to any agencies involved in the case; these same “media outlets” now report on this case as if they have been for nearly four years.

That assertion is indeed fake news.

The fake news reporting left Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner who referred the matter to Attorney General Josh Shapiro in May of 2020 as exclusively reported by this media outlet; in an untenable position this week.

Of note, the statement below was not provided to this media outlet since the reporting has been and continues to be the most accurate and reliable.

Gardner issued the following statement this afternoon.


Press Release 10-1-21

Tuesday, September 28, 2020, Lycoming County Detective William Weber announced his retirement following forty (40) years of service as a law enforcement officer.  Since this announcement, various news articles have been published that attempt to outline the investigation that occurred as a result of an incident that occurred in Myrtle Beach involving the Williamsport Area High School baseball team. 

The timelines reported by one or more media sources has created confusion regarding the status of the Attorney General’s Investigation into this matter.  As you likely recall, after assuming office as the Lycoming County District Attorney in January 2020, I referred the Myrtle Beach case to the Office of Attorney General (OAG) for further investigation.  The referral was made to the OAG in May 2020.  I issued a detailed press release early May 2020 outlining the reasons for which this matter was referred to the Attorney General. 

The OAG formally assumed jurisdiction of the Myrtle Beach Investigation May 27, 2020.  It is important to note that once a referral is accepted by the OAG, this Office has no more involvement with the case. After the OAG assumed jurisdiction, the OAG filed under seal three separate search warrants during September 2020.  When a search warrant is filed under the seal, the warrant is not accessible to the general public until that warrant is made releasable by the Prothonotary’s Office.  The warrants filed under seal by the OAG during the month of September 2020 were not accessible to this Office nor were the contents of the sealed warrants shared with this Office.  

On or about July 1, 2021, I received a letter from the OAG indicating, “[f]ollowing a lengthy and thorough investigation, the OAG has determined that insufficient evidence exists to justify any further action.  As such, we are closing our file.”  I subsequently shared this information with various media outlets and one or more news articles were published at that time. 

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, it was brought to my attention that the warrants previously filed under seal by the OAG during September 2020 were made releasable.  It is my understanding that the warrants were made releasable on or about September 23 or September 24.  Copies of the warrants were provided to me on the morning of the 28th.  Following my review of the warrants, I immediately requested a meeting with Detective Weber and during this meeting held Tuesday afternoon he indicated to me that he was retiring, effective immediately.  

It is important to emphasize that the very recent release of the warrants previously filed under seal does not suggest that the OAG’s investigation is ongoing.  Any evidence seized by the OAG as a result of the warrants filed under seal in September 2020 would have been obtained and analyzed by the OAG prior to my receipt of the July 1, 2021 letter from the OAG indicating that it was closing its file.  Accordingly, to my knowledge and belief there is no ongoing criminal investigation by the OAG regarding the Myrtle Beach referral.           

Ryan C. Gardner, Esq.


TalkWilliamsport.com has requested a legal review by its lawyers of all of the recent reporting done by local media outlets failing to properly attribute its reporting.

This is a developing story on TalkWilliamsport.com.