Butler County man charged with supplying 'Theraflu' heroin in woman's death
A Butler County man bought his girlfriend a tainted batch of heroin that killed her in February, state police said.
Shayne W. Emery, 31, of West Liberty was in the Butler County prison on Friday, charged with delivering the drug that caused her death, drug possession and conspiracy.
Brittany Hays, 21, of Worth, Butler County, died on Feb. 2. Emery's arrest is the first of its kind in the county following a rash of fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses in Western Pennsylvania this winter, District Attorney Richard Goldinger said.
Goldinger said there's no indication that Emery was involved in any of the other tainted heroin overdoses. The Butler County Coroner's Office linked at least three deaths to heroin labeled “Theraflu.”
Assistant Public Defender Joseph Smith said Emery applied for legal representation on Friday. He declined to comment because he hadn't seen the criminal complaint.
Authorities have said the mix of painkiller fentanyl and heroin led to nearly two dozen deaths in Western Pennsylvania.
According to a state police complaint, Hays was found dead in her bathroom with two used stamp bags of heroin and drug paraphernalia near her body. Investigators learned that Emery gave his sister, Amanda Emery, $400 that she used to buy 29 stamp bags of heroin on Jan. 31 in Lancaster. The bags were marked “Theraflu” or “Burberry.”
On Feb. 1, Hays bought four stamp bags from her boyfriend for $60 and the two got high, according to the complaint. She left the house about 11 a.m. to go to work, police said. Her family found her dead about a day later.
Trooper Adam Peth wrote in the complaint that investigators asked Emery whether “he saw on the news that people were dying from using stamp bags of heroin marked Theraflu, and he advised that he did.”
Peth said Emery told investigators that “everyone is trying to get Theraflu heroin, because it is more powerful.”
Goldinger said he expects investigators to charge Amanda Emery with drug possession with intent to deliver, though there was no record of charges against her on Friday. She could not be reached for comment.
Bill Vidonic is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Brawl for ADs between Pitt and WVU
- Steelers must be creative in providing snaps for linebackers
- With Pittsburgh charges, feds target Uganda-based counterfeiting ring
- Pitt offensive coordinator Rudolph still focused on Panthers
- Analysis: Misunderstood Chryst served Pitt well
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime
- Veteran tight end Miller’s blocking skill crucial to success to Steelers running game
- Steelers notebook: Chiefs pass rush to test Steelers
- Assistant at Duke eyes Pitt football job
- Time is of essence for Pitt in finding football coach, athletic director
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes