Wareham Man Becomes First Drug Dealer Convicted of Manslaughter in Plymouth County
BROCKTON — A Wareham man is the first to be charged and convicted in Plymouth County of supplying the fatal overdose that caused the death of a 25-year-old woman, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
After an eight-day trial, a Plymouth County jury deliberated five hours before finding 36-year-old Steven D. Foss of Wareham guilty of 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. Foss was found not guilty of one count of assault and battery.
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.
Foss is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, April 6 at 2 p.m. in Brockton Superior Court.
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