Woman in Montco court over drug overdose death

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A 27-year-old woman was in court Wednesday on criminal homicide charges for allegedly supplying heroin to an overdose victim. (WPVI)

A 27-year-old woman was in court after being charged for allegedly supplying heroin to an overdose victim.

Prosecutors say they are trying to send a message to drug dealers that they can be held responsible for deaths of people they sell to.

Gwen Prebish, 27, faces multiple charges, including drug delivery resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 32-year-old Michael Pastorino.

In court Wednesday, Prebish waived her preliminary hearing. Her next court appearance is in May.



Prebish was arrested in December on the day after Pastorino was found dead in his Upper Moreland Township home.

Investigators say Prebish admitted selling heroin to Pastorino. Investigators say tests later revealed Prebish actually sold him fentanyl, which is 40 to 50 times stronger.

"I feel relieved because she took a lot from me and took a lot from my 8-year-old," said Pastorino's fiancee, Chelsey Dovidio.

She says her fiancee admitted to an addiction problem following an injury and wanted to seek help before his death.

"I was aware he had a drug problem, but I wasn't aware he was as deep into it as he was. I don't believe he ever intended on doing too much to die," said Dovidio.

The district attorney's office says it's not unusual for an alleged drug dealer to face these charges, but they are hoping to send a message.

"With the heroin epidemic going on, this is another tool in our chest to show how serious we are, and if you're going to sell in Montgomery County and someone dies, we're going to come after you," said Assistant DA Kathleen McLaughlin.

Prebish faces more than five years in prison.
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newspennsylvania newsdrugUpper Moreland Township
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