State prison for York man who sold deadly heroin
A drug dealer who sold heroin that killed a Glen Rock man is headed to state prison.
Aric "Rico" Kraft, 23, of York City, pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor, and felony heroin possession with intent to deliver for the Sept. 18, 2014, overdose death of 33-year-old Michael Besse.
Kraft was sentenced to two to five years in state prison and received credit for time served since June 25, senior deputy prosecutor Kelley Nelson said.
The sentence was in the middle of the state's standard guideline range, she said. Kraft originally faced a number of other charges, including drug delivery resulting in death, abusing a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Defense attorney Korey Leslie called it a fair resolution.
Body hidden: Kraft sold heroin to Amanda Raber, who shared the opiate with Besse inside a room at the Motel 6 on Arsenal Road in Manchester Township, according to court documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police.
After Besse died, Raber alerted Kraft, who went to the motel and helped Raber move Besse's body from a bed to the bathroom, according to police. It appears Raber also cleaned the room, police said.
They propped Besse's feet above the toilet so they could close the bathroom door, documents state, and Kraft told her he would return later to move the body.
But when Kraft was a no-show, Raber reached out to an acquaintance, saying she needed to "get rid of the body," according to documents.
The acquaintance refused to help and instead notified a motel employee, who called police, documents state. Raber was gone when officers arrived, police said.
Cellphone tossed: Investigators later found Raber's phone not far from the motel, near the Codorus Creek, and learned the room had been rented by a Florida truck driver who let Raber use it, according to police. Officers also found syringes in the room, police said.
Police obtained a warrant for Raber's arrest but didn't track her down until February, records state.
She confirmed she bought the heroin that killed Besse from Kraft, police said. Raber maintains she fell asleep after using the drug and that when she woke up, Besse was dead, documents state.
She was charged with abusing a corpse, tampering with evidence and possessing drug paraphernalia, but her charges were dropped in exchange for her cooperation in Kraft's prosecution, Nelson confirmed.
"My entire case was based on Amanda Raber," the prosecutor said. "Without her, we would not have located (Kraft)."
Credible? But Nelson said she was concerned jurors might not have found Raber to be a credible witness.
"Amanda was a charged co-defendant who was an admitted addict at the time," she said. "Part of my discussion with the victim's family was that ... there is a good chance if the case goes to a jury trial, (Kraft) could walk out scot-free."
The plea agreement required Kraft to acknowledge he sold the heroin that killed Besse, and held him accountable, Nelson said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.