Jury convicts York man of providing fatal heroin dose
Jurors took about 90 minutes Thursday to find a previously convicted York City drug dealer guilty of providing heroin to a man who fatally overdosed.
After the verdict, Angel Luis Alicea III, 27, of Edison Street, had his bail revoked and was remanded to York County Prison to await sentencing, currently set for May 2, according to court records.
The jury determined Alicea, known as "Bebo," provided the heroin that killed 22-year-old Randy Crone III, of Paradise Township, on Sept. 18, 2015. They found him guilty of drug delivery resulting in death and possession with intent to deliver heroin.
Senior deputy prosecutor Duane Ramseur was pleased with the verdict.
"Randy Crone paid the ultimate price when he made the decision to inject himself with the heroin," he said. "However, that does not excuse the drug dealer who sold the drugs to Randy."
Defense attorney Ron Gross said that while he respects the jury's verdict, he doesn't agree with it, and he and Alicea will be reviewing appeal options.
The defense theory: Gross said Alicea admits he sold the heroin, but he sold it to Michael Iberl, not to Crone.
"All the evidence was that Michael Iberl set up the drug deal, and Michael then gave the drugs to Mr. Crone," Gross said. Iberl was not charged in Crone's death.
Gross also questions whether it was Alicea's heroin that killed Crone.
He said Iberl testified the two of them used some of the heroin together, then Crone took the rest home. According to Gross, Iberl also said he spoke with Crone on the phone hours later, at which point Crone had told him he'd already used the rest of the heroin.
"Mr. Crone must've already had other drugs in his room," Gross said. "It was impossible it was (Alicea's) drugs that killed him. That was our theory of the case."
Joint drug deal: But Ramseur maintains it was Alicea's heroin that killed Crone, and he said Crone and Iberl bought the drugs together.
"Randy put in the majority of the money," he said — $80 to Iberl's $20 — and the two went together to buy heroin from Alicea.
"The only reason that Randy didn't do the hand-to-hand transaction is because Randy is the one who drove the car," Ramseur said.
Under Pennsylvania law, Alicea is responsible for Crone's death, even though he handed the drugs to Iberl, the prosecutor said.
The charge of drug delivery resulting in death carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.
Ramseur said state sentencing guidelines call for a standard-range minimum sentence of somewhere between seven and 8½ years in state prison. In Pennsylvania, a convict's maximum sentence is generally double his minimum, meaning Alicea could receive a sentence of seven to 14 years in prison, or 8½ to 17 years.
He also could receive a sentence that's in the aggravated or mitigated ranges, as opposed to the standard range.
Intimidation case: Alicea remains charged with witness intimidation for allegedly trying to convince Iberl not to testify against him.
In mid-July, Alicea and Iberl were inadvertently placed in the same holding cell while in the York County Judicial Center for a pretrial hearing, according to Gross.
Alicea allegedly told Iberl that the case against him "is all in your hands," and that "you can get this thrown out, all you have to do is change your story," according to charging documents.
Alicea allegedly said he has children and needs to get out of jail for them, documents allege.
"Alicea told Iberl that the most (punishment Iberl) would get would be a fine for perjury and that Alicea would pay off the fine for him if he changed his story and told the court that he lied at the preliminary hearing and to police," charging documents state. "Alicea went on to tell Iberl that he was facing seven to 14 years."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.