Wareham Man Sentenced Up to Eight Years for Drug Dealing Death
BROCKTON — A Wareham man who was first to be charged and convicted in Plymouth County of supplying the fatal overdose that caused the death of a 25-year-old woman, has been sentenced to state prison, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
Last Friday, a Plymouth County jury convicted 36-year-old Steven D. Foss of Wareham, on one count of manslaughter and five counts of distribution of a Class A substance (heroin). Foss was also convicted on one count each of possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance (heroin), and intimidation of a witness. He was found not guilty of one count of assault and battery.
This afternoon, in Brockton Superior Court, Judge Brian Davis sentenced Foss to serve six to eight years in state prison on the charge of manslaughter. Judge Davis additionally sentenced Foss to serve four to five years in state prison on the five charges of distribution of a Class A substance (heroin), and two to three years on the possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance (heroin) charge, all to run concurrent. The sentence is to be followed by probation for three years with the conditions that Foss remain drug free, submit to random drug testing and stay away and have no contact with the witnesses in this case.
On February 21, 2015, Wareham Police received a 911 call for a suspected drug overdose. Wareham Police arrived at the scene and found the female victim, 25-year-old Paige Lopes of Wareham, already deceased. State Police Detectives assigned to DA Cruz’s office were notified and responded to the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Lopes died of acute Heroin intoxication. At the time of her death, Lopes was found with an amount of heroin wrapped in lined notebook paper on her person.
As part of the State Police investigation, detectives determined that on February 21, 2015, Lopes purchased $80 worth of Heroin from Foss, ingested the drug and then died. Through interviews, investigators determined that the victim purchased heroin from Foss through an intermediary. Detectives used texts from the victim’s cell phone to locate the intermediary who identified Foss as the dealer who sold drugs that day to Lopes. Witnesses said Foss wrapped the drug product he sold in white or yellow lined notebook paper.
As part of the investigation, on four separate occasions in February and March of 2015, Foss sold drugs to undercover investigators. As a result, State Police sought and received a search warrant from Wareham District Court and executed that warrant on March 11, 2015. State Police seized a quantity of heroin, as well as packaging materials, cell phones and approximately $3,400 in cash. Foss was arrested that day.
“Obtaining a manslaughter conviction against a drug dealer is an extremely challenging task and I commend the work of State Police, Wareham Police and prosecutors in our office, who worked to ensure that justice was served in this case,” DA Cruz said. “Substance abuse issues are haunting our neighborhoods and our county is doing great work in the area of prevention and outreach, but we need to fight this problem on all levels. I am hopeful that cases like this one have a strong deterrent factor for those pedaling poison in our cities and towns.”
Assistant District Attorney Richard Linehan prosecuted the case, which was investigated by State Police Detectives assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and Wareham Police Department.
--Plymouth County District Attorney's Office