Norristown, Montgomery County, PA — The County DA along with police chiefs and superintendents from nine municipalities or agencies, including Lower Merion announced the arrest of five defendants that are charged with drug delivery which resulted in death. One of the defendants received additional charges of involuntary manslaughter related to four overdose deaths.
“These four deceased individuals are just a tiny fraction of the more than 200 who died through overdose in Montgomery County in 2018 and early 2019, “ stated Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Kevin R. Steele. Steele was referring to the four in custody. Gaines has fled and is wanted by police,
Charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death (DDRD), Possession with Intent to Deliver and related charges are:
Maurice C. Johnson, 26, of 7337 Frontenac Street in Philadelphia is being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility failing to post $500,000. Johnson’s charges are drug-related and are attributed to the death of Kathleen (Kat) Sicoli, age 55, who died in Lower Providence Township.
Brenda McLaughlin, 37, of 2673 Woodstream Drive in Hatfield is being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility unable to post bail of $1 million.
She has been charged in connection with the death of Jared Dameron, age 39 in East Greenville.
Antonio Rivera, 33, 822 W. Venango Street in Philadelphia; is being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility after bail was set at $250,000. Rivera’s drug charges have a connection to the death of Daniel Peterson, age 29, who died on September 25, 2018, and Abington Township.
Mark R. Hertzog, 44, of 513 Hamilton Street in Norristown is confined in the Montgomery County correctional facility after bail was set at $500,000. Hertzog’s drug charges have a connection to the death of Daniel Marinare, age 53. Who just died on December 27, 2018, and Upper Merion Township.
Kurt W. Espenship, 52, of 732 Hidden Valley Road in King of Prussia was also with Possession with Intent to Deliver, Involuntary Manslaughter and related charges was arraigned, and bail was set at $100,000 unsecured.
Marquese H. Gaines, 27, of 4235 N. Darien Street in Philadelphia is wanted by police who have charged him with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. Gaines has fled and is the subject of a manhunt.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and law enforcement is asking for the public’s help in locating Gaines. Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278- 3368 or the Upper Merion Police Department at 610-265-3232.
During August through January 2019, the police were summoned to multiple scenes of overdoses and unresponsive subjects throughout the county.
Based on evidence ascertained through an exhaustive investigation by a joint task force of local, state and federal law enforcement the DAs office has been able to level charges against these individuals for their roles and connections in the heroin-opioid-fentanyl epidemic that has hit all parts of Montgomery County and all age groups, authorities said.
The arrests of these individuals came as a result of multi-agency investigations involving:
· Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET)
· Abington Township Police Department
· East Greenville Police Department
· Lower Merion Township Police Department
· Lower Providence Township Police Department
· Upper Merion Township Police Department
· Whitpain Township Police Department
· Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Drug Law Enforcement Division
In depth details of the charges and victims can be found here.
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