California man pleads not guilty to South Side overdoses |

California man pleads not guilty to South Side overdoses

Megan Guza
Megan Guza | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh police investigate the scene of a fatal incident that left three people dead and four hospitalized. All were found in or near the City Apartments on Tunnel Boulevard in the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

A California man pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court to charges he distributed a deadly fentanyl mixture that killed three men in Pittsburgh’s South Side over the weekend.

Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo, 25, of Coachella appeared in court briefly, where he entered his plea of not guilty and waived his detention hearing.

Montalvo faces seven charges related to Sunday’s six overdoses, three of which were fatal.

His public defender, Sarah Levin, said she likely will ask for a detention hearing in several weeks when the defense counsel has gathered more information. Montalvo was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

Montalvo was arrested at a McKees Rocks home early Monday morning. A grand jury returned the seven-count indictment Wednesday.

Authorities allege Montalvo passed around the deadly drugs at a party at the SouthSide Works City Apartments after a concert at the Insomnia Discotec in Brookline.

A witness told police Montalvo was in the apartment and brought out a box of white powder, according to the complaint. He offered the drugs for partygoers to snort on a knife, at which point the witness fled the apartment.

Police would later find Rubio Clemente-Martinez, 32, of Columbus, Ohio, dead in front of the building’s elevator and five men in the apartment. Two were already dead.

The medical examiner’s office identified those men as Joel Pecina, 32, of Coraopolis and Josue Soberal Serrano, 38, of Carthage, Mo.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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