ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after police say he sold fentanyl that led to the overdose death of an Anne Arundel County man.
Authorities arrested 37-year-old Gabriel Delvalle of Baltimore County on Wednesday in the January death of a 27-year-old man in Pasadena, Maryland.
Emergency crews responded to a home in the 100 block of Homeland Road for an overdose on Jan. 10 and said they did everything they could to revive the man, including using Narcan, but he died.
After more than nine months, and through a new heroine task force partnership with other local law enforcement agencies and the states attorney's office, investigators said they were able to track down and charge Delvalle in the man's death.
In the past, fatal overdoses were treated more like a medical situation, but investigators said because of county's opioid epidemic they started treating them more as a crime scene so they can try to track down the supplier.
"They collect any evidence they can find at the scene, including cellphones, any paraphernalia, CDS (controlled dangerous substances) and they do an extensive work up on all of the evidence. Fingerprint examinations, they examine the digital technology whatever they can find in an attempt to link the narcotic back to the supplier," Marc Limansky with the Anne Arundel County Police Department explained. "A lot of times when someone is suffering from this type of addiction it is very difficult for them to resist the addiction and we find the most fault lies with the person who is supplying the narcotic and that's who we are going after."
Police say so far in 2017 in Anne Arundel County there have been 862 overdoses and 121 overdose deaths.
"This is the first case of its kind in our county. Law enforcement will continue to do everything in our power to combat the opioid epidemic and foster safe communities," the states attorney's office said in a written statement.
If convicted on the involuntary manslaughter charge, Delvalle could face up to 10 years in prison. Delvalle, who officials said has an extensive criminal history, was being held without bond and was scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 8.