Shrewsbury man charged in heroin death
A Shrewsbury man who contends he was pressured into buying heroin for a co-worker is now charged in connection with the co-worker's 2014 drug-related death.
Nicholas "Nick" Aaron Wernick, 26, of the 100 block of North Main Street, faces charges of drug delivery resulting in death and intent to deliver a controlled substance, according to court records.
The charges stem from the Aug. 26, 2104, death of Pasquale Joseph Neri, 33, who took a lethal dose of heroin in his apartment in the first block of North Main Street in Stewartstown as his girlfriend and children slept, according to authorities.
Southern Regional Police filed the charges against Wernick on Wednesday.
Drug use: Neri, his girlfriend Tiffany Gain, and their children had visited his family in the Philadelphia area on Aug. 25, 2014, the day before he died. His parents allegedly gave him the prescription drugs Xanax and Suboxone, according to Wernick's charging documents.
That set off an argument between Neri and Gain over his drug use and, when they returned to York County, Neri contacted Wernick, asking his co-worker to buy heroin for him, documents state.
Wernick told police he would try to avoid Neri at work because Neri would continually ask Wernick to go "get him dope." Neri would tell Wernick things like "don't let me down" and "help me out, bro," documents state.
Neri once gave Wernick some Adderall at work and would use that against Wernick when he'd asked for heroin, documents state. Neri also loaned Wernick $10, and Neri told Wernick he wouldn't have to repay the debt in exchange for getting heroin, Wernick told police, documents state.
On Aug. 25, Neri continually called Wernick, asking Wernick to get him a $50 bag of heroin.
The two met in a Shrewsbury Township parking lot around 5:30 p.m. and then again a few hours later, after Wernick went to Baltimore, bought heroin from a drug dealer and returned to deliver it to Neri, documents state.
Death: Neri was "nodding out" on the couch after he returned home, causing Gain to suspect he used heroin, documents state. Neri's young daughter found him slumped over in the bathroom — where he would go to snort heroin — when she woke in the middle of the night, according to the charging documents.
Gain woke up because of a loud noise around 2:15 a.m. and found Neri unresponsive on the couch. She called 911, and a responding police officer found Neri wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse, documents state.
The officer attempted to revive Neri, but the lifesaving efforts were halted after medics arrived. Neri was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy showed Neri died of heroin toxicity, documents state.
Wernick is free on $75,000 unsecured bail. His next court appearance will be for a preliminary hearing before magisterial district judge John Olwert on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 3 p.m., according to court records.
Court records don't list an attorney for Wernick, who could not be reached for comment.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.