Pennsylvania man charged in sober home overdose after woman found dead from fentanyl, prosecutors said

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Source: Bucks County District Attorneys Office; MEGA

Nov. 14 2021, Published 9:19 a.m. ET

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    A 25-year-old Pennsylvania man was accused of supplying the drugs that led to a woman's overdose death in July at a Pennsylvania recovery house.

    Matthew Derby Lavender, of Bensalem, was charged with drug delivery resulting in death, criminal use of a communication facility, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, involuntary manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance.

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    He was arrested and booked into to Bucks County Correctional Facility last week. He is being held on $1 million bail.

    Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney's Office Drug Strike Force began investigating the overdose death of 25-year-old Nikki Lee Silva after Tullytown Borough Police were dispatched to a sober home on a report of a female in cardiac arrest around 10:45 p.m. on July 2.

    Police reportedly found Silva dead on the scene, along with three used and two unused baggies containing heroin and/or fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid that is often mixed with other drugs to enhance the effects, but a small dose can be deadly.

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    Investigators determined Lavender supplied her the drugs. He reportedly admitted taking Silva to the Kensington section of Philadelphia, where he took money from her to buy six bags of fentanyl from a street dealer, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.

    When asked by the detective if the bags contained heroin or fentanyl, Lavender said, "They're all fentanyl. There is no heroin no more," according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.

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    An autopsy determined Sylvia died of accidental acute fentanyl intoxication and a toxicology report found she had fentanyl and norfentanyl in her system.

    "This case emphasizes our commitment to hold all drug dealers criminally accountable," District Attorney Matt Weintraub said in a statement.

    "Our message to all the drug dealers out there: If someone dies from the drugs you dealt them, we will investigate you, arrest you, convict you, and sentence you, whenever possible."

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