Westport Man First to be Charged Under R.I. Fatal Overdose Law
NEWPORT, R.I. — A Westport man has been charged in connection to an overdose death in Rhode Island.
According to the Herald News, Cary Pacheco, 54, of 255 Briggs Road, Westport, Massachusetts, was arrested Thursday in Newport, Rhode Island, and charged with controlled substance delivery resulting in death.
Pacheco is the first person to be charged in Rhode Island under Kristen's Law, which was signed into law earlier this year. Kristen's Law permits judges to grant life sentences to people who sell illegal drugs that lead to fatal overdoses.
On September 10, Newport Police responded to a report of an overdose at 15 Meeting Street. The 29-year-old victim was transported to Newport Hospital where he was pronounced dead the next day. Police found six bags of Fentanyl on the victim when they responded to the scene.
With the help of a witness who was with the victim at the time of his overdose, the Newport Special Crimes Unit determined that the victim had purchased the Fentanyl in a parking lot in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, on September 10 from Cary Pacheco.
Police determined Pacheco and the victim were in the parking lot at 7:30 p.m. on that day by using search warrants of the cell phone records of Pacheco and the victim, along with a GPS ankle monitor Pacheco had been wearing.
On Thursday, November 29, the witness and an undercover Newport police detective arranged to meet Pacheco in Newport to purchase 20 bags of Fentanyl for $115.
Newport Police say Pacheco arrived at the meeting place at 10 a.m. along with another man, Michael Vandenburg, 49, of Durfee Street, Fall River. Vandenburg carried out the transaction under the direction of Pacheco, according to police.
After the transaction had been completed, police arrested Vandenburg and Pacheco. During a search of the suspects, police found an additional 61 bags of Fentanyl in Pacheco's possession.
Police have charged Vandenburg with delivery of heroin and controlled substance conspiracy.
Pacheco and Vandenburg are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Newport District Court.