The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LO­CAL NEWS -

of Sec­ond Av­enue for a heroin over­dose.

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” at the scene where the de­ceased was dis­cov­ered. In ad­di­tion to a hy­po­der­mic nee­dle, author­i­ties also lo­cated four bags still con­tain­ing heroin and stamped with ”New Ar­rival.”

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 Da­mon Eskridge, had been in pos­ses­sion of 12 bags of heroin stamped with the words, “New Ar­rival,” ac­cord­ing to court records.

Eskridge waived his pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in Sep­tem­ber, af­ter be­ing ar­rested as the re­sult of an un­der­cover po­lice op­er­a­tion.

The lat­est court ap­pear­ance in­di­cates po­lice be­lieve Grasty to be Eskridge’s Ma­lik Grasty co-con­spir­a­tor.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that the vic­tim died be­cause the heroin he pur­chased from Grasty’s co­con­spir­a­tor, Da­mon Eskridge was laced with the po­tent syn­thetic opi­oid car­fen­tanil,” po­lice wrote.

Grasty was ar­rested on Aug. 22 af­ter search war­rants were served at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in Phoenixville by Phoenixville de­tec­tives and Ch­ester County Drug Task Force of­fi­cers.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors de­ter­mined that Grasty sup­plied Eskridge with the tainted heroin that was de­liv­ered to the vic­tim. In­ves­ti­ga­tors also re­cov­ered a 9 mm hand­gun with an oblit­er­ated se­rial num­ber and were able to link the gun to Grasty, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Fol­low­ing a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing Nov. 8, Grasty is headed to trial in Ch­ester County Com­mon Pleas Court in West Ch­ester on charges of drug de­liv­ery re­sult­ing in death, deal­ing in un­law­ful pro­ceeds, crim­i­nal con­spir­acy, felon not to pos­sess a firearm, pos­ses­sion of a firearm with an oblit­er­ated se­rial num­ber, pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance with in­tent to de­liver, and nu­mer­ous other un­der­ly­ing drug charges.

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