Note: The following is a news release from the Office of the Bucks County District Attorney.
A Hilltown Township man will serve up to 30 years in state prison for selling a man the fentanyl that killed him and then continuing to sell for months following the fatal overdose.
William Frank Brennan, 21, was sentenced Friday after he pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to counts of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver, involuntary manslaughter and related charges.
The felony and misdemeanor counts stemmed from two separate cases–one from the November 2017 death of 23-year-old Lukas Titus, of Telford, Montgomery County, and another involving a series of controlled purchases of fentanyl in March and April of this year.
Titus was found dead of a fentanyl overdose on Nov. 13, 2017, in a vacant lot along the 1500 block of Bethlehem Pike in Hilltown Township. Found nearby, the man’s cellphone contained text messages to and from Brennan appearing to arrange a drug transcation. The investigation ultimately led police to execute a search warrant at Brennan’s home, where a plastic food container was recovered with 14 grams of fentanyl inside.
“The impact to families is immeasurable and life-lasting. And for you it was a few dollars in exchange for human life,” said Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr.
Bateman imposed consecutive sentences, ordering Brennan to serve seven-and-a-half to 20 years for drug delivery resulting in death followed by two-and-a-half to 10 years for possession with intent to deliver.
The judge said he considered in his sentence that Brennan not only sold fentanyl, as opposed to heroin, but did so knowing he was selling fentanyl, which is a more powerful drug.
“At some point you have to sober up and realize, but you didn’t. You went back to business as usual,” Bateman said, noting Brennan was “dealing in addiction and death.”
Brennan presented himself in court as a man stuck in a cycle of selling drugs to support his own habit, but Assistant District Attorney Ashley Towhey argued a stiff prison sentence would help break that pattern.
“This is another tragic example of how dealers exploit the opioid epidemic and ravage our community,” Towhey said. “No one can bring back the lives lost, but we will continue to fight for the victims and for the families forced to endure the pain of losing someone they love.”
Towhey prosecuted the cases, which were investigated by the Hilltown Township and Towamencin police departments.
“This case in particular, and drug delivery resulting in death prosecutions in general send two powerful messages: We will do the work to hold drug dealers accountable for the deaths they cause, and that all victims matter,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub.
According to Veronica Titus, her son had been working on his recovery for 21 months prior to his death.
Her family has been devastated by the loss, she said in a victim impact statement. She highlighted the sadness and confusion her grandchildren experience when they realize their uncle and “all-around favorite goofball” is gone forever.
“It was his choice. No one forced him and we all live with his choice every day,” she said. “But he was a loving young man who got caught up in this horrific epidemic. And with his last choice, he will be accountable for eternity.”
Veronica Titus said in her letter that the people who provide drugs to users must also be held to account for the deaths.