Prosecutors: dealer charged with murder for synthetic heroin that killed user
Harold Burton is alleged to have sold four bags of fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic form of heroin, to a woman who later OD'ed.
Prosecutors in Montgomery County have chargedan alleged drug dealer with causing the death of one of his customers who died of an overdose.
Harold Burton, 36, is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, a homicide charge, in the Jan. 29 overdose of 31-year-oldRenee Winslow in Pottstown.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement that Burton is accused of selling Winslowthe synthetic opioid fentanyl, which Steele called "poison," which was found to have caused her death by a coroner.
“Fentanyl is killing people,” Steele said in the statement.“Addicts do not know that what they are injecting is the much more powerful fentanyl since it looks practically identical to heroin. But when it hits their system, the fentanyl shuts down their body, and they die. If we continue at this pace, we’re going to have one of the deadliest years for overdose deaths."
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is40 to 50 times more deadly than street-level heroin, according to Steele.
Prosecutors said thaton Jan. 28,Winslow "had sent and received drug-related text messages with her heroin supplier, who said he would deliver four bags of purported heroin to her residence. Video surveillance revealed that the defendant entered and exited the apartment."
Winslow was found dead in her apartment by her boyfriend the next morning. The Montgomery County Coroner's Office determined the overdose was caused by fentanyl. Tests showed that all baggies near Winslow contained fentanyl, prosecutors said.
An obituary for Wilson described her as "a loving mother with an infectious laugh and a wicked sense of humor" who worked as an assistant manager at Liberty Thrift and left behind a son and daughter.
“Renee Winslow’s death was not attributable to a violent crime. This death is attributable to someone poisoning her, poisoning her with this very deadly drug fentanyl,” Steele said. “Drug dealers beware — you give a drug to someone and they die, you are on the hook for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death.”
Burton, who was arraigned on Tuesday,could face up to 40 years in prison. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 6.