Lancaster County prosecutors have secured more drug delivery resulting in death convictions than any other Pennsylvania county since 2011, according to a report from The Times-Tribune in Scranton.
The Times-Tribune report cites data from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts in its analysis of how often drug delivery resulting in death charges are filed and the outcomes of those cases, between 2011 and Sept. 30, 2017.
Terrie Morgan-Besecker compiled the data and authored the report, which can be found here: https://goo.gl/K3qm68.
The report shows that 317 drug delivery resulting in death charges were filed statewide in that time span, and 189 have been resolved. Eighty-one – about 40 percent of those dispositions – ended with convictions of that same charge.
Lancaster County has filed 22 drug delivery resulting in death charges in that span, with 15 being resolved. Twelve of those 15 – 80 percent - were convictions of drug delivery resulting in death charges.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said he advises investigators to approach every drug overdose death as a potential crime. Steps are taken to find who provided the decedent the deadly dose (often containing fentanyl).
“We view every one of our overdose deaths as a potential taking of life by the dealer or provider of these lethal substances,” Stedman said Friday.
Dauphin County has secured drug delivery resulting in death convictions in 11 of 16 such cases. Lebanon County’s tally is 10 for 10.
Philadelphia and Allegheny (home to Pittsburgh) counties have filed 11 and 6 such charges, respectively, in that nearly-six-year timespan.
Overall, central and southeastern Pa. counties – Bucks, 13; Cumberland, 20; Dauphin, 23; Franklin, 22; Lancaster 22; Lebanon, 12; York, 35 - file drug delivery resulting in death charges most often.
In Lancaster County, approximately 30 drug delivery resulting in death charges have been filed since the beginning of 2016 – which accounts for the three months after Morgan-Besecker’s analysis ended.
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