Dealer gets 20-40 years in prison for giving Springetts man fatal opioids

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Jose Miguel Morales III

A York City drug dealer who provided a fatal dose of fentanyl to a Springettsbury Township man in 2017 received the maximum sentence on his drug delivery resulting in death conviction.

Jose Miguel Morales III, 36, of the 1000 block of East Poplar Street, appeared in York County Court on Thursday, May 30, where Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder sentenced him to 20 to 40 years in state prison.

After a weeklong trial, jurors on March 21 found him guilty of the first-degree felony of drug delivery resulting in death, which is akin in seriousness to third-degree murder. Jurors also convicted him of drug dealing, involuntary manslaughter and using an electronic device to commit a crime.

Springettsbury Township Police filed the charges against Morales — whose street name is "King Chance" — after they determined he provided the fentanyl that killed township resident Derek Mount, 28.

Police were called March 18, 2017, to Mount's home, where they found him dead.

At the scene were small glassine bags normally used to package heroin, police have said.

The York County Coroner's Office determined Mount died from fentanyl toxicity.

Powerful opioid: Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, is found in much of the heroin sold on the street, York County officials have said.

Mount's family told investigators he would often hang out with "Julio," later identified as Morales, according to police.

Mount had a friend drop him off at a home on King Street in York City the day before he died, police have said. The friend said Mount appeared to be high on narcotics afterward.

Jose Morales III

At the time, Morales and his girlfriend lived in the home, police said.

Morales later admitted to using heroin and fentanyl with Mount, and he said they were friends, documents state. Morales also admitted to selling him heroin and fentanyl in the past, according to police.

He also admitted to changing his phone number after Mount's death so he wouldn't be connected to the death, police said.

Morales pleaded guilty and no contest in York County Court to drug-dealing cases from 2010 and 2013, respectively, according to court records.

About the victim: Mount graduated in 2006 from Central York High School, according to his obituary.

Derek Mount

He worked as a forklift operator.

Mount was an avid gamer and a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.