LOWER MERION — A Delaware man is behind bars accused of delivering a dangerous dose of fentanyl and methamphetamine to a Lower Merion woman who suffered a fatal overdose.
Darryl Wesley Brown Jr., 32, of the 3400 block of Broom Place, Wilmington, was arraigned on Tuesday before District Court Judge Karen Eisner Zucker on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the Aug. 21, 2020, death of 23-year-old Emma Allen in the Haverford section of Lower Merion Township.
Zucker set Brown’s bail at $500,000 cash and he was remanded to the county jail to await his Jan. 22 preliminary hearing on the charges. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Roderick Fancher III.
Authorities alleged the investigation determined Allen thought she was purchasing cocaine and ecstasy but that Brown sold her a lethal dose of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
“This defendant was selling bags of illicit drugs as cocaine that did not contain any cocaine and instead contained the even deadlier fentanyl and heroin, while the ecstasy pills he was selling were actually methamphetamine,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said on Tuesday. “This should be of great concern to drug users.
“It is truly ‘buyer beware,’ as there is no guarantee that what a drug dealer says he is selling is actually what is being sold. Law enforcement in Montgomery County will continue to hold drug dealers accountable for selling the deadly drugs that kill people,” Steele added.
Darryl Wesley Brown Jr., 32, of #Wilmington, was arraigned on Tuesday on charges of drug delivery resulting in death & possession with intent to deliver controlled substances in connection with Aug. 21, 2020, overdose death of 23 yo Emma Allen in #LowerMerion pic.twitter.com/ZMYvwqRf5z— Carl Hessler Jr. (@MontcoCourtNews) January 12, 2021
The investigation began about 12:50 p.m. Aug. 21 when Lower Merion police were dispatched to the Casa Del Sol apartments in the 400 block of West Lancaster Avenue for a report of a cardiac arrest. Arriving officers found Allen deceased on the living room floor of her apartment, according to a criminal complaint filed by Special Montgomery County Detective Andrew Rook and Lower Merion Detective Randall Hobbs.
Inside the apartment, police found a ceramic plate containing lines of a powdery substance, a credit card and a rolled-up $20 bill, which was indicative of drug usage, according to the arrest affidavit.
A subsequent autopsy determined Allen’s cause of death was from drug intoxication, fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to the arrest affidavit.
During the investigation, detectives interviewed witnesses, analyzed phone contents, call detail and cell tower records and mobile cash application transactions to develop Brown as a suspect, court papers indicate.
Detectives interviewed witnesses and searched the contents of Allen’s phone and determined that she had arranged via text to purchase a gram of cocaine and two ecstasy pills for $142 from Brown on the evening of Aug. 20, according to the arrest affidavit.
Brown allegedly texted that he would arrive at a parking lot next to Allen’s apartment building at 9:30 p.m. A review of Allen’s cash payment app account showed that she sent the $142 to the defendant’s account, authorities alleged.
“However…instead of selling cocaine and ecstasy to Allen, Brown sold her heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine,” Rook and Hobbs alleged in the criminal complaint.
Detectives, acting in an undercover capacity, initiated a text communication with Brown on Aug. 21 and arranged to purchase the same drugs that Allen purchased on Aug. 20, according to the arrest affidavit. Brown was arrested when he showed up at a meet location near Allen’s apartment and was originally charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
At the time of his arrest, Brown was in possession of a clear plastic bag of white powder, pills and marijuana, authorities alleged. While being taken into custody, Brown allegedly stated that he did not know why he was being arrested as he was just there to visit his friend “Emma,” according to the arrest affidavit.
A laboratory analysis of the contents on the plate and the residue on the rolled-up $20 bill and credit card found in the victim’s apartment determined they contained fentanyl and heroin, detectives alleged. Officials also tested the powder found on Brown at the time of his arrest and found it contained fentanyl and heroin while the pills seized during his arrest were found to be methamphetamine, court papers alleged.
When Brown was interviewed by detectives he allegedly admitted that he delivered drugs to Allen, according to court documents.