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Upper Bucks Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 5-10 Years in Prison

Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Gannon called Lawson Young, 43, of Richlandtown, ‘remorseless’ for selling heroin laced with fentanyl that caused numerous overdoses in Upper Bucks.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

Note: The following is a news release from the Office of the Bucks County District Attorney.

A Richlandtown, Bucks County man who sold a potent mix of heroin and fentanyl that caused a run of overdoses in the Quakertown area last winter was sentenced last month to serve five to 10 years in state prison.

Lawson Young of Richlandtown

Bucks County Senior Judge John J. Rufe set aside Lawson Young’s claims that he finally had come to terms with his heroin addiction while in prison.

“The sentence I impose is designed to be punitive,” the judge told the 43-year-old defendant. “You can deal with rehabilitation thereafter.”

Young pleaded guilty in three separate felony possession or delivery cases, including a Jan. 25 incident in which he sold heroin to a female visitor just after he checked into a West Rockhill Township drug rehabilitation facility.

The woman, 45, promptly overdosed in a bathroom of Penn Foundation Recovery, where she had to be revived with Naxolone before being taken to nearby Grand View Hospital. A subsequent search of Young by a Penn Foundation staff member found 11 bags of heroin, suspected methamphetamine and $189 in cash.

Another customer of Young’s, a 20-year-old woman, overdosed Jan. 10 in the back seat of a car in Quakertown. Police officers, who found the woman unconscious and barely breathing, revived her with Naxalone before she was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital–Quakertown, where she recovered.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas C. Gannon said the woman had used a potent mix of heroin and fentanyl bearing the stamp “China White.” Drugs with the China White stamp had been responsible for at least three other overdoses in the Quakertown area in December, Gannon said.

On Jan. 29, a few days after the overdose incident at Penn Foundation, Quakertown police arrested Young as he fled from a vehicle in the borough. A search found four packets of heroin on him, two of which were stamped “China White.”

Calling the defendant “remorseless,” Gannon told Rufe that Young “stands here before you not six millileters [of Naxalone] away from being a murderer.”

Despite almost killing one customer in early January, the prosecutor said, Young “is still selling it three weeks later.”

Heroin and fentanyl have taken an especially heavy toll on the Quakertown area, Gannon said. “What is worse, he sells it to individuals while at Penn Foundation,” he added, endangering those who are seeking to overcome addictions.

“I cannot think of a more aggravated situation than Mr. Young’s,” Gannon said.

Young told Rufe that he had a 40-bag per day heroin habit at the time of his arrests, and that he peddled the drug to support his addiction. Under questioning by Gannon, he denied knowing that China White contained fentanyl, or knowing until weeks later that two of his customers had overdosed on drugs he sold.

After failed attempts at recovery, Young said his current progress “is better than it’s ever been,” and that he has served as a mentor to other inmates while staying clean in prison.

Rufe acknowledged those efforts, but added, “That doesn’t solve the problems you caused by continually selling over a period of time, when you had to be aware that people were dying in the community in which you were selling.”

In addition to the prison time, Rufe imposed a consecutive six years of probation, during which Young will be required to undergo drug and alcohol treatment.

The case was investigated by the Quakertown Borough and Pennridge Regional Police departments.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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