Man Charged In South Side Overdose Deaths, Accused Of Supplying Fentanyl-Laced Drugs

Sep 23, 2019

A man has been arrested in connection with multiple overdoses on the South Side that occurred early Sunday morning, and left three men dead.

*This story was last updated at 12:42 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Peter Rene Sanchez-Montalvo, who also goes by the name Carlos, was arrested at 3 a.m. Monday morning at a house in McKees Rocks.

He faces federal drug charges of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury.

Sanchez-Montalvo was at the Insomnia Discotec in Brookline Saturday night, prior to the overdoses, authorities said. That’s where the victims received their orange wristbands, which police first mentioned in relaying news of the overdose deaths.

Police say Sanchez-Montalvo later joined the victims at an “after-party,” where he gave out what authorities believe to be cocaine. In a statement, the U.S. attorney’s office described the scene:

“During the party, Montalvo, wearing distinctive clothing, produced a large quantity of powdered narcotics in a box. He then cut into the narcotics and scooped out a large quantity of what the users believed was cocaine. Montalvo then started going around the room with the knife, allowing individuals to sniff the white powder from it. The surviving users stated that after they did a ‘bump’ of suspected cocaine people immediately began to drop and suffer adverse effects.”

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office says the powder was laced with fentanyl.

Sanchez-Montalvo could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $1 million, according to the U.S attorney’s office. He’s expected to appear in federal court at 1:30 p.m. Monday and federal authorities plan to request Sanchez-Montalvo be held without bail.

The names of three men who died at the South Side Works City Club apartments have since been released.

They include 32-year-old Rubiel Clemente-Martinez, of Columbus, Ohio; 38-year-old Josue Soberal Serrano, of Carthage, Mo., and 32-year-old Joel Pecina, 32, of Coraopolis. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. One of the men was discovered near an elevator, while the other two were found in an apartment.

Three other people in the apartment also overdosed and were hospitalized – a fourth was discovered outside, a block away. One person remains in critical condition.  

The Associated Press contributed to this story.