NORTH FAYETTE TOWNSHIP — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced first-degree felony charges against an Allegheny County man for his role in selling a heroin-fentanyl combination to a man who died of a fatal overdose.
Shaunteze Turner, 27, of Woodlow Street, Pittsburgh, was arrested today by the Office of Attorney General and charged with drug delivery resulting in death – a legal tactic the Office of Attorney General is increasingly using to confront drug dealers as the heroin and opioid epidemic ravages Pennsylvania.
“If you sell drugs and someone dies as a result, you’re facing a first-degree felony and you’re going to jail,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “This tough charge is one key piece in our all-out fight to take down drug dealers and battle the heroin and opioid epidemic raging across this Commonwealth.”
Today’s arrest of Turner marks the first time that the drug delivery resulting in death charge is being brought by the Office of Attorney General in Allegheny County. The other cases have been brought in Wayne, Montgomery, Clarion, Somerset and Westmoreland counties. Conviction for drug delivery resulting in death is punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
“Selling drugs laced with fentanyl is like playing Russian Roulette,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “You never know when there will be a bullet in the chamber.”
The Office of Attorney General worked closely with North Fayette Township Police on this case and brought it to a statewide grand jury, which heard testimony and evidence and recommended charges against Turner and several other defendants involved in delivering drugs to the deceased.
The case began when Daniel T. Scott was found dead in his home on September 14, 2016. An autopsy revealed Scott died from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl.
Over the next several months, OAG investigators traced a series of drug deals that led them to Shaunteze Turner. He was dealing heroin labeled “Blue Magic” and “Nyquil.” Prosecutors used the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, which reviewed evidence and testimony to recommend charging Turner with drug delivery resulting in death and delivery of a controlled substance. Turner was arraigned this morning and bail was set at $100,000.
Three other defendants have also been charged in the case with delivery of a controlled substance. They are Richard Otto, 56, of Coraopolis, Kirk Garrett, 47, of Oakdale, and Tracy Skipper, 49, of Oakdale.
“Our department is in the position of providing closure to the family of Daniel Scott after their tragic loss,” said North Fayette Township Police Chief Mark O’Donnell. “I am proud of the collective effort of the Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and the North Fayette Township Police. I commend Attorney General Josh Shapiro for providing his agents and prosecutors to assist municipalities such as ours. Their expertise was crucial in assisting us with our investigations into this ongoing crisis.”
Attorney General Shapiro praised law enforcement collaboration in this investigation. “Four more drug dealers are off our streets thanks to the collaboration of our Office and North Fayette Township Police, coupled with the use of the statewide grand jury. To the victim’s family and everyone in North Fayette, we hear you, and my Office will stop at nothing in our fight against this epidemic.”
Senior Deputy Attorney General Marnie Sheehan-Balchon will prosecute the cases.