In the first conviction of its kind in Plymouth County, a Whitman man was found guilty of supplying drugs that caused the fatal overdose of a 25-year-old woman, prosecutors announced on Friday.
Following an 8-day trial, a jury found Steven D. Foss, 36, guilty of manslaughter, five counts of distribution of a class A substance, heroin, and one count each of possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance, heroin, and intimidation of a witness, according to the Plymouth district attorney’s office said in a statement.
He was found not guilty of one count of assault and battery. Sentencing was scheduled for April 6.
Wareham police responded to a report of a suspected overdose on Feb. 21, 2015 and found Paige Lopes of Wareham already dead, prosecutors said. The medical examiner determined that she died of “acute heroin intoxication,” the statement said.
Lopes, according to authorities, was found with heroin wrapped in lined notebook paper.
State Police investigators determined that Lopes had bought $80 worth of heroin from Foss, and ingested the drug, which caused a fatal overdose, according to prosecutors.
Investigators used texts from Lopes’s cell phone to locate an intermediary who had connected her to Foss. The intermediary then identified Foss to investigators as the dealer who sold Lopes the drugs, authorities said.
Witnesses also told authorities Foss wrapped the drugs he sold in lined notebook paper.
As part of the probe, Foss sold drugs to undercover investigators four times in 2015, according to the district attorney’s office. Those illicit sales prompted authorities to obtain a search warrant.
When the warrant was executed in 2015, Foss was arrested and police seized heroin and packaging materials, cell phones, and about $3,400 in cash, according to the district attorney’s office.
Danny McDonald can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.