A Montgomery County woman is facing charges for allegedly supplying the drugs that led to a man's overdose death last month.
Gwendolyn Prebish, 27, is accused of bringing 32-year-old Michael Pastorino the drugs that killed the Willow Grove resident on Nov. 6, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said Friday.
Prebish, of Hatboro, has been charged with drug delivery resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter.
"You give a drug to someone and they die as a result of the drug, you are on the hook for drug delivery resulting in death," District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. "Drug dealers need to know that they are killing people, and they will be held criminally responsible."
The night before Pastorino died, he exchanged text messages with his heroin supplier, later identified as Prebish, who said she would bring four bags of purported heroin to his home, prosecutors said.
An autopsy determined that Pastorino died from heroin and fentanyl, a sythetic opioid that is more powerful than heroin and sometimes added to that drug to make it stronger, court documents said. The drug bags near Pastorino's body contained fentanyl.
The news of the arrest comes as the Philadelphia region is facing a surge of overdose deaths. Over a span of just five days this month, at least 35 people in Philadelphia are believed to have died from overdoses, mostly in and around Kensington.
Authorities are investigating the causes of those deaths, including whether they resulted from heroin laced with fentanyl. Law enforcement officials are also investigating the source of drugs that led to 40 nonfatal overdoses in Philadelphia on one day in November.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have recently reported huge spikes in drug overdose deaths. Surges in overdoses, many involving fentanyl, have also been reported elsewhere in the country.
Prebish was being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $1 million bail after a Thursday arraignment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.