Police

Man Accused of Supplying Drugs That Killed Hellertown 19-Year-Old

Drugs Fentanyl Police

A 21-year-old Hellertown man has been charged with supplying the drugs that allegedly led to an acquaintance’s fatal overdose last year.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

A 21-year-old Hellertown man has been charged with supplying the drugs that allegedly led to an acquaintance’s fatal overdose last year.

According to details contained in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Northampton County District Court 03-2-04, Holden Wilkins of the 800 block of Main Street in Hellertown was identified by Hellertown Police as a possible suspect in the death of 19-year-old Riley T. James within 24 hours of James’ death.

Hellertown Police Neighbor Gun

Above, a Hellertown Police vehicle sits parked outside Northampton County District Court 03-2-04 in Lower Saucon Township. (FILE PHOTO)

The affidavit of probable cause filed with the complaint said James’ father found him dead in his bedroom at their home in Hellertown borough on the evening of July 9, 2022.

“Located in near proximity…were several glassine paper packets, some of which bore the ink stamp ‘MONSTER HIGH'” along with a rolled up dollar bill, “all of which contained a residual white in color crystalline powdery substance,” police said in the affidavit.

On July 10, the lead investigator said he learned from another officer that two people had turned over screenshots of a Snapchat message involving someone with the username “holdenwilkins22.”

Police said one of those individuals identified the person with that username as Holden Wilkins.

Upon reviewing the screenshots, police said they were found to contain “an admission that he had provided him (the victim) a substance prior to his death.”

Police said they interviewed Wilkins later that same day, and that he told them James had contacted him “looking to ease his ‘dope sickness'” after being released from a rehab program.

Wilkins then allegedly ordered “a bundle of what he believed to be an amount of crushed oxycodone” from his “supplier,” according to the affidavit, which does not identify the alleged supplier.

Police said James arrived at Wilkins’ home between 4 and 6 p.m. July 9 and gave him $20 with which to purchase two packets of the supposed oxycodone.

According to the affidavit, Wilkins then met the supplier for the purchase of “his order” in a parking lot behind a business in the 700 block of Main Street in Hellertown.

When he returned home, police said Wilkins gave James the two packets, and James left.

According to police, the packets Wilkins had purchased–some of which were allegedly still in his possession at the time of the interview–were found to be “stamped with the identical ‘MONSTER HIGH’ stamp” that was found on the packets discovered in James’ room.

On July 20, 2022, police said the narcotics-related evidence in the case was presented to the Northampton County Coroner’s office, which then submitted it to NMS Labs for chemical analysis.

In September of last year, police said NMS Labs issued a final report in which it “determined that the submissions of two separate white glassine packets stamped with ‘MONSTER HIGH’ each contained a confirmed substance identified as Fentanyl (a DEA Schedule II controlled substance).”

On Oct. 14, 2022, police said the Northampton County Coroner’s office issued a death notification for James in which the coroner confirmed his cause of death to be Acute Fentanyl Intoxication and his manner of death to be accidental.

Just over a year later, on Oct. 25, police said they received final approval from Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck to file charges against Wilkins, who is now charged with one first-degree felony count of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, two felony counts of Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, and one first-degree misdemeanor count of Involuntary Manslaughter.

According to the docket filed in his case, following a preliminary arraignment Tuesday, District Judge Alan Mege committed Wilkins to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $1 million straight bail.

His next court date is listed as Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 p.m., when a preliminary hearing is scheduled before Mege in District Court o3-2-04 in Lower Saucon Township.

The docket did not list an attorney for Wilkins.

Note: All individuals arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The story was compiled using information from Northampton County court records.

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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 josh@sauconsource.com.

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