An Easton man is facing a potential prison sentence after a jury found him guilty last week of selling the drugs that resulted in a Bucks County man’s fatal overdose.
Jose David Maldonado, 46, was found guilty of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, involuntary manslaughter, criminal use of a communication facility and recklessly endangering another person, a Crimewatch news release from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office announced.
According to the news release, Maldonado was found guilty of selling a combination of heroin and fentanyl that killed Jerry Carpenter, 23, of Lansdale, and severely sickened his 25-year-old acquaintance.
The district attorney’s office said that a police investigation determined that in November 2019 the men met Maldonado and purchased the drugs from him outside a business on Rt. 309 in Quakertown, before driving to a Milford Township cemetery to ingest them.
“After leaving Maldonado, the two men drove to St. John’s Lutheran Church, where the evidence shows both used the opiates,” the release said. “Carpenter’s friend suffered a seizure at the cemetery and lost consciousness. When he woke up, Carpenter was on the ground next to him.”
Police said they located drug paraphernalia near Carpenter’s body that including a glassine bag containing a substance that was later found to contain heroin and fentanyl.
An autopsy confirmed that Carpenter’s cause of death was fentanyl and heroin toxicity.
The news release also stated that Carpenter’s friend was hospitalized due to the seizures he suffered after taking the drugs Maldonado sold them.
According to the DA’s office, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police at Dublin and Bucks County Detectives identified Maldonado as the seller through a months-long investigation that included interviews and forensic examination of cell phone records.
Maldonado was arrested following a drug investigation in Bethlehem, and had heroin and fentanyl in his possession on the day of his arrest, authorities said.
He was charged with selling the drugs that caused Carpenter’s death in December 2020.
“The real credit in this case goes to the diligence of the investigators, particularly Pennsylvania State Police and the Bucks County Detectives, who never gave up hope in their quest for justice for Jerry Carpenter,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees, who prosecuted the case.
Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey L. Finley revoked Maldonado’s bail and deferred his sentencing for 60 days following Thursday’s verdict, the DA’s office said.