DRUG INVESTIGATION - OVERDOSE DEATH
Berks County Jail
1287 County Welfare Road
Leesport, PA 196533
- Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
- Criminal Use of a Communications Facility
- Delivery of a Controlled Substance
- Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
In early December 2019, the Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams had officially issued a Public Health Alert as the result of a rash of overdoses that occurred over the weekend of December 7th and 8th, 2019 in the Borough of West Reading, the City of Reading, Exeter Township, Rockland Township and Lebanon County. Several overdoses were reported, which required medical attention and unfortunately lives were lost.
On December 8, 2019, Berks County Drug Taskforce Detectives learned that on December 7, 2019 officers from the West Reading Police Department were dispatched to the 100 block of South 3rd Avenue, West Reading, Pennsylvania to a call of multiple victims of overdoses. The overdosed individuals survived due to the West Reading Police Officers taking immediate action and administrating Naloxone on the scene.
On December 8, 2019, Berks County Drug Taskforce Detectives further learned, the suspect, Jewrry Alvarez, did deliver an amount of Fentanyl to the individuals. The detectives travelled to 419 N. 5th Street, Reading, Pennsylvania in an attempt to find the suspect, Jewrry Alvarez; it was established that he lived in the building. While at the location, the detectives found two destroyed cellular phones, drug packaging materials, used latex gloves, cutting agents and a bag containing a white powder, all discarded outside of the building. The bag was later sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Lab for drug identification. Drug analysis determined the powder contained Fentanyl.
The suspect, Jewrry Alvarez, was arrested on December 9, 2019 for Delivery of a Controlled Substance and related charges for delivering Fentanyl to one of the individuals from the West Reading incident. The suspect remains in Berks County Jail as of the time of his arrest in 2019. The Berks Drug Taskforce County Detectives, along with the Pennsylvania State Police, joined forces and collaborated to continue the investigation into the suspect’s actions as related to several overdoses.
Back on December 7, 2019 at approximately 9:50 p.m., emergency services and the Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Rod and Gun Road, Millcreek Township, Lebanon County for unresponsive individuals. Upon arrival, the troopers found unconscious individuals. They were transported to Reading Hospital for treatment. On December 7, 2019 at approximately 11:25 p.m., Berks County Deputy Coroner, Robert Bickham, pronounced one of them dead.
Upon responding to the residence at Rod and Gun Road on December 7, the troopers observed drug paraphernalia and controlled substance(s) in plain view inside the residence. The troopers prepared a search warrant for the residence. The warrant was executed on the residence and drug related items; a plate that had a line of white powder believe to be Cocaine, a straw, a cellular telephone, among other things, were found on the scene. A preliminary drug test of the white powder indicated a positive reaction for Fentanyl and Cocaine.
Further investigation determined that on December 7, 2019 a short time after 7:00 p.m. the victim and the suspect communicated with each other and agreed to meet in the 4800 block of Penn Avenue, Sinking Spring, Berks County, Pennsylvania where Alvarez sold drugs to the victim who later overdosed.
On December 10, 2019, an autopsy was performed on the body of the victim by Forensic Pathologist Supriya Kuruvilla at the Reading Hospital. As a result of the autopsy, Dr. Kuruvilla determined the cause of death to be Acute Fentanyl Toxicity.
Charges were filed on May 13, 2020. Bail was set at $100,000 monetary, therefore, the defendant remains in Berks County Jail awaiting further court action.
If anyone has any information that may assist the detectives with these overdose investigations and prevent the possibility of others consuming this fatal drug, please contact the aforementioned police departments, and/or Crime Alert Berks (Phone: 1877-373-9913) or (Text Tip: 84741 starting your message with the word ALERTBERKS + your tip).
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.