drug death

Police are looking for this man, exiting a fire escape from a building on West State Street in Kennett Square, in connection with giving a person drugs, resulting in their death. This is surveillance footage from a nearby camera.

KENNETT SQUARE—The man who gave a person drugs at an apartment last month in Kennett Square faces 20 to 40 years in prison – if police can find him.

According to Kennett Square police, on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1:45 a.m., police and emergency services responded for a reported cardiac arrest in the apartment in the 100 block of West State Street. The patient was later pronounced dead after attempted medical intervention from an apparent opiate-related overdose.

The investigation determined the decedent’s roommate and another unknown man were in the apartment at the time of the incident. The man fled the apartment prior to police arrival via the rear fire escape.

Police have been unable to locate the man.

Tom Hogan, Chester County District Attorney, said his office will prosecute a case of drug delivery resulting in death.

“The key is you have to do it very quickly,” Hogan said. “Once the dealer finds out the person is dead, they will stop answering their phone, and wipe information and get rid of all communications with that person.”

A few years ago, the state Legislature reworked the crime of drug delivery resulting in death, making it much easier for prosecutors to prove. The charge has been used unequally across the state, and some of the most aggressive counties are in central and southcentral Pennsylvania.

Five years ago, prosecutors in Pennsylvania used the charge in 15 cases, according to figures provided by the state judicial association. Last year, that number skyrocketed to 205, a nearly 1,300 percent increase in five years.

Al Iacocca, a district magistrate who serves the Kennett Square area, said drug cases are becoming common.

“The heroin problem is just not going away,” he said. “It’s such a shame to see so many lives impacted by this epidemic. I try to send them for help or allow them to delay court appearances if they want to go get help, but they just can’t seem to knock it. I keep seeing the same people.”

The Kennett Square Police Department is seeking assistance from the public. Anyone with information or who knows his identity or about the incident in general can submit a tip through Crimewatch or contact Det. Christopher Gravina at cgravina@kennettsquarepolice.org or call us at 610-444-0501. Tips will remain confidential and can be anonymous if desired.

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