Man charged in fatal drug overdose faces trial.
A Phoenixville man charged in the first carfentanil death in Chester County will be heading to trial.
Damon Eskridge, 20, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Theodore Michaels on various drug related charges.
According to court dockets, Eskridge is facing two sets of charges from July. One set from July 5 includes charges of manufacture, possession or delivery with intent, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation and resisting arrest with a bail of $15,000. Another, dated July 18, involves the charge of drug delivery resulting in death with a bail of $1 million. One count of conspiracy was added to both dockets during court proceedings on Wednesday.
His formal arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Eskridge was charged after police responded to the 300 block of Second Avenue on July 4 at around 11:50 p.m. Upon arrival, police found a 34-year-old man on his back, according to court documents. Police determined the incident to be a drug overdose after finding heroin and paraphernalia in plain view near the man’s body. Police said they found several empty heroin bags stamped with different phrases including “Chapo,” “Wells Fargo” and “New Arrival.” In addition to a hypodermic needle, authorities also located four bags still containing heroin and stamped with ”New Ar- rival.”
Police searched through a phone belonging to the deceased and found conversations they believed to be related to a drug deal, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Police said text messages were with a contact labeled “Kevin D” and included a meeting location and price for the alleged purchase.
On July 5, an undercover officer arranged a drug transaction with “Kevin D” using the deceased’s phone. Police arranged for “Kevin D” to deliver 12 bags of heroin in the area of St. Mary’s Street and South Street, police said. Police requested that “Kevin D” deliver the drugs to their vehicle and he was taken into custody by officers once he arrived.
“Kevin D,” later identified as Eskridge, had been in possession of 12 bags of heroin stamped with thewords, “New Arrival.”
A toxicology report completed on July 17 on the deceased victim showed he died of acute carfentanil toxicity, according to the Chester County Coroner’s Office.
The incident was the first reported appearance of carfentanil in Chester County, according to authorities.