Colwyn man arrested for dealing deadly fentanyl-laced-heroin
MEDIA, PA --Today District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland and Commissioner Otis Blair of the Chester Police Department announced the arrest of Raheem Harper, who is charged with dealing fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in the fatal overdose of a 28-year-old Chester man on April 19, 2017. The announcement comes at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by Detective Corporal Steven Byrne of the Chester Police Department and Detective Timothy Deery of the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
Raheem Harper, 28 of the 400 block of 4th Street in Colwyn Borough, is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, a felony of the first degree, delivery of a controlled substance, an ungraded felony, unlawful use of a communication facility, a felony of the third degree, tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor of the second degree, and involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The drug delivery death offense carries a statutory maximum of 20 to 40 years in state prison.
On April 21, 2017, at approximately 12:00 p.m., Chester Police and Crozer Chester Medical Center medics responded to a residence on the 1500 block of Edgmont Avenue in Chester where a 28-year-old male was found and pronounced deceased at the scene. One hypodermic needle and the remains of a used bag of suspected heroin were located on the floor next to the decedent. Additionally, five small packets containing suspected heroin stamped "Hurricane” were located in the pants pocket of the decedent. The suspected controlled substances were laboratory tested and were identified as a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. Doctor Fredric N. Hellman, Delaware County Medical Examiner, conducted a post-mortem examination on the deceased victim and ruled the cause of death as multiple drug intoxication, specifically fentanyl and heroin.
On April 21, 2017, Raheem Harper was arrested in Tinicum Township during the course of a traffic stop and was found to be in possession of cocaine and heroin, along with drug paraphernalia. Police located 18 blue glassine packets of heroin, all stamped "Hurricane,” identical to the packages found in the decedent’s pants pocket. Following the April 21, 2017 arrest, Harper posted bail and was released from custody. On May 6, 2017, pursuant to a drug investigation in the area of 31 Walnut Street, Clifton Heights, Raheem Harper was arrested again in his vehicle and was found to be in possession of over 1,500 bags of heroin.
On November 17, 2017, Raheem Harper was sentenced on these charges during a hearing in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, to 5 1/2 to 12 years in state prison followed by seven years of state supervised probation. As the result of a forensic examination of the victim’s cellphone found at the scene, it was established that Raheem Harper, aka “Mark,” was the drug dealer who delivered the deadly fentanyl-laced-heroin that resulted in the victim’s death.
Records show Harper delivered heroin to the victim on April 6, April 9, April 11, and finally on April 19, 2017, ultimately leading to the victim’s death. Further investigation revealed that during one of these deliveries, the victim traded Raheem Harper a PlayStation 4 for a few bags of heroin.
“Fentanyl is a highly-addictive synthetic alternative to morphine and is used to treat pain in the terminally ill and the combination of fentanyl with heroin increases the potency of both drugs,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “Once ingested, this deadly mixture creates a powerful high and often, sadly, causes immediate death. As our second arrest in a week for this type of charge, drug traffickers should know that when they sell these deadly drugs, they are facing a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.”
In addition to these types of arrests, District Attorney Copeland, Chair of Delaware County’s Heroin Task Force (HTF), noted that in addition to arrests and prosecutions, her Office along with the HTF will continue to take proactive steps to address the opioid epidemic, by raising awareness about the dangers of these drugs, and connecting residents struggling with addiction to treatment and recovery resources.
“As the result of the excellent investigative work of Chester Detective Corporal Steven Byrne and CID Detective Timothy Deery, we were able to trace this deadly drug to the dealer, Raheem Harper, who clearly had no regard for human life. He preyed upon the victim’s weakness and desperation, taking advantage of his struggle with addiction. In this case, Raheem Harper repeatedly delivered drugs for profit, in exchange for another man’s life.”
On behalf of the Commonwealth, Deputy District Attorney Sharon McKenna, Chief of Narcotics Unit, is prosecuting the case.
Individuals who have witnessed a drug deal in their neighborhood or suspect illegal drug activity can send tips to the Office of the District Attorney by calling 610-891-4700. Tips can also be submitted electronically here.
CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE MERELY ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
KATAYOUN M. COPELAND, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
JOSEPH A. RYAN, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: June 11, 2018
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4943