PHILADELPHIA – Robert Atkins, 28, of Chester, PA, has been charged by indictment with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, announced United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen and Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. Atkins has also been charged with five counts of distributing fentanyl and one count of distributing fentanyl within 1,000 feet of a school. The death charge results from the September 9, 2017 fatal overdose of an Upper Darby Township resident from fentanyl that was allegedly sold to him by Atkins.
“We have a public health crisis in this country involving opioid abuse that is exacerbated by individuals who continue to distribute these deadly substances,” said Lappen. “The impact on our community is immeasurable and tragic. Our office will continue to work with our federal and local partners through the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Opioid Law Enforcement Task Force to investigate and prosecute those individuals whose unscrupulous and illegal conduct contributes to this deadly epidemic.”
“The defendant had no regard for the people to whom he peddled his poison, and continued to distribute this deadly venom on our streets even after causing the death of one of our Delaware County residents,” said Copeland. “Any drug trafficker who distributes these lethal drugs on our streets shall be on notice that we will hold you accountable for the devastation of our communities.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Delaware County Drug Task Force, and the Folcroft Borough and Upper Darby Police Departments. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Faithe Moore Taylor and, from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, Special Assistant United States Attorney Sharon H. McKenna.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.