Police make arrest after investigation into drug-related death in northern Berks

Michael Hanusey
Michael Hanusey

A police investigation into a drug related death has led to an arrest of the person who allegedly delivered the drug that resulted in death.

Michael Hanusey, 28, Limekiln, has been taken into police custody on charges that include Drug Delivery Resulting in Death; Criminal Use of a Communication Device; Possession With Intent to Deliver Heroin and Fentanyl, Possession of Heroin and Fentanyl.

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office reports that on May 17, 2017 at about 4:15 p.m., the Northern Berks Police Department was dispatched to a residence for an unresponsive female. When the police officer and EMS entered the home, they discovered a 35-year-old woman was deceased from an apparent opioid drug overdose. The responding police officers discovered evidence consistent with illegal drug use of heroin, possibly laced in fentanyl.

The Northern Berks Police Department initiated a death investigation and contacted the Berks County’s Detective Unit to assist in the investigation. Based on information received and investigation conducted, the investigating officers strongly believed that the female victim had taken heroin, which was possibly laced in fentanyl, earlier that day.

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On May 18, 2017, detectives developed information of a possible suspect, Michael Hanusey. As a result, detectives acting in an undercover capacity were able to establish communication via cellular telephone with the suspect. During that communication, Hanusey agreed to meet with the undercover officer for the purpose of delivering heroin. Subsequently, Hanusey did meet with an undercover officer at the agreed location within Berks County and he delivered a quantity of heroin to the officer. Shortly after the drug transaction, Hanusey was placed under arrest and charged for the Possession, Possession With Intent to Deliver and Delivery of Heroin.

On May 19, 2017, the suspect, Hanusey was transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center for processing and arraignment. The defendant was arraigned by Judge William N. Hall and bail was set at $20,000.

On May 19, 2017, an autopsy of the woman was performed at Reading Hospital by Dr. Hoffman. It was later learned through toxicology tests that the cause of death of the woman was acute toxicity by heroin and fentanyl.

As the investigation continued, detectives were able to determine that Michael Hanusey was the source of the heroin and fentanyl ingested by the victim, which caused her death. Hanusey was charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and related charges.

On Jan. 31, 2018, a warrant of arrest for Hanusey was issued by Magisterial District Judge Brian K. Strand on the aforementioned charges. Hanusey is currently incarcerated at Berks County Prison as a result of the drug arrest on May 18, 2017. He will be arraigned on the new charges.