On July 24, five Pennsylvania men were accused of selling heroin to two men and one woman who overdosed and died. The individuals who were accused were identified as a 22-year-old Bridgeville man and four Pittsburgh men who are of the ages of 26, 54, 56 and 58.
The indictments indicated that the overdose deaths occurred in January. For one of the deaths, which occurred on Jan. 25, it was believed that the 54-year-old man sold the dead 47-year-old man the drugs. The man then reportedly went to a hotel room in the Oakland section of the city where he overdosed and died. When his room was searched by the authorities, bags of heroin with "HBO" stamped on it were recovered. It was believed that this was the brand name given to the drug.
All five of the accused individuals were charged with possessing heroin with intent to deliver that resulted in death. For this charge alone, all five individuals face 20 years to life in prison. The 56-year-old man was facing additional charges including possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
Most drug charges carry serious consequences if a person is convicted of them. If more than one individual was accused of being involved in a crime, a criminal defense attorney may utilize several different defenses depending on the circumstances of the situation. In some cases, it could be argued that the client was not the main player in the group. Legal counsel may also have the ability to negotiate an agreement that involves a plea of guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for an alternative sentence.
Source: WPXI, "Feds: 5 sold heroin that killed 3 in western Pennsylvania", July 24, 2015