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Colwyn man sentenced 40 to 80 months in prison for dealing deadly fentanyl-laced heroin

MEDIA, PA -- Today District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland announced that Raheem Harper, who was charged with distributing fentanyl laced heroin that resulted in the fatal overdose of a 28-year-old Chester man on April 19, 2017, has been sentenced 40 to 80 months’ incarceration after entering an open guilty before Court of Common Pleas Judge James P. Bradley to drug delivery resulting in death and four counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Raheem Harper, 28 of the 400 block of 4th Street in Colwyn Borough, was charged with drug delivery resulting in death, counts of delivery of a controlled substance, and related offenses on June 11, 2018, following the conclusion of an investigation by Detective Corporal Steven Byrne of the Chester Police Department and Detective Timothy Deery of the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID). On behalf of the Commonwealth, Deputy District Attorney Sharon McKenna, Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, prosecuted the case.

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. A used hypodermic needle and the remains of a used bag of suspected heroin were located on the floor next to the decedent along with five small packets containing suspected heroin stamped "Hurricane” in the victim’s pants pocket. The suspected controlled substances were laboratory tested and identified as a mixture of fentanyl and heroin. A post-mortem examination by the medical examiner revealed the cause of death was multiple drug intoxication, specifically involving fentanyl and heroin.

An investigation by law enforcement along with a forensic examination of the victim’s cellphone found at the scene 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.

“While we are satisfied with the sentence in this case, we know that no amount of prison time can ever bring back the victim, or undo the pain endured by his family and loved ones,” said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. “Raheem Harper 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. For families affected by opioid addiction, holding drug dealers like the defendant accountable is imperative. By exposing their actions and making them pay for their injustice, we can take steps towards prevention, even if it will not bring a loved one back. In addition to prosecution, we will continue to take proactive steps to address this epidemic through our Delaware County Heroin Task Force to connect residents who are struggling with substance use disorder with treatment and recovery resources. I commend Deputy District Attorney Sharon McKenna who has brought justice for the victim and his family, and commend Chester Police Detective Corporal Steven Byrne and CID Detective Timothy Deery for their thorough investigative work on this case.”