Could accused ‘Hollywood’ heroin dealers face manslaughter charges?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Four men were arraigned in Springfield District Court on Monday, accused of dealing heroin that’s led to several overdose deaths in western Massachusetts.

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri told 22News, “It’s certainly not a victimless crime as this proves. Drugs impact our entire society, puts not just the victims at risk, but it victimizes everyone involved in this. Those families have lost somebody.”

Francis Willor, Elvis Luckham, Elvin Resto, and Juan Perez were arrested in Springfield Saturday night. Police said they had 9,000 bags of heroin labeled “Hollywood,” the same label found near the bodies of eight overdose victims in western Mass.

22News asked Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni if the men arrested could also face manslaughter charges. He said, “It’s something that my office will look at in conjunction with the police departments in terms of the level of proof. There has to be a nexus between the drugs being sold and the deaths; at this point it’s yet to be seen.”

Earlier this year, a drug dealer was convicted of manslaughter after the district attorney proved he provided the Heroin that led to a deadly overdose in Ludlow.

We asked Gulluni what they would need to charge these men. He said, “If we knew through some evidence, some witness statements, text messages, that the actual heroin provided caused deaths or a deaths.”

All four men are being charged with possession and distribution of heroin. Juan Perez is also charged with trafficking heroin, and faces a minimum of 12 years in prison, and was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail.

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