For the first time since Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took office in January, his office has filed charges of drug delivery resulting in death against an Allegheny County resident.
Shaunteze Turner, 27, of Crafton Heights is charged with the first-degree felony for his alleged role in the death of Daniel T. Scott, 52, of North Fayette.
Scott was found dead in his home in September 2016 from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl.
Shapiro called the opioid epidemic the No. 1 public safety and public health crisis facing Pennsylvania.
He likened selling drugs laced with fentanyl to playing Russian roulette.
“You never know when there will be a bullet in the chamber and when a life will be taken," Shapiro said. "And when it is taken, my office will use the full extent of the law to prosecute these individuals and lock them up for a very long time."
He called the drug delivery resulting in death charge a “tough new charge” that is key to his office’s fight against the opioid epidemic, which he said results in 13 deaths each day in Pennsylvania.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office said it currently has four active cases including the drug delivery resulting in death charge.
“We also have several other investigations ongoing to determine if the deaths fit the criteria for filing charges,” said spokesperson Mike Manko in a statement.
This marks the seventh instance in which the AG’s office has levied the charge. Last month, Shapiro’s office charged a 78-year-old doctor in Westmoreland County with drug delivery resulting in death.
“If the charge is warranted, we are going to use it without fear or without favor, whether it’s a doctor giving out a prescription drug or a dealer dealing drugs on the streets of Southwestern Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.