Monday, August 19, 2019


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Hatfield Woman Charged in Death of East Greenville Man
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A Hatfield woman has been criminally charged in the 2018 death of an East Greenville man. Brenda L. McLaughlin, 38, faces a first degree felony charge of a drug delivery resulting in death as well as two additional felony counts each of delivery of illegal drugs and criminal use of a communication facility and related misdemeanor charges.

            McLaughlin is accused of selling the drugs to a 39-year-old man that caused his death last summer. Jared Dameron, of Morris Road, died from acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl and heroin, according to a criminal complaint field in Red Hill Court of District Judge Maureen Coggins. Francis Rippert, a detective with the Whitpain Township Police Department who is also assigned to the Montgomery County Detective Bureau Narcotics Enforcement Team, filed the charges Monday.

            During a preliminary arraignment Monday afternoon, the judge set McLaughlin's bail at $1 million monetary. The defendant was remanded to Montgomery County prison, according to information posted on a state judicial website.

            Law enforcement officials arrested McLaughlin on Aug. 16 in Quakertown after completing a controlled buy from her. An undercover detective purchased five blue bags of purported heroin, each stamped with the words "AMERICAN DREAM" for $50, according to the legal paperwork.

            At 6:54 a.m. on Aug. 7, East Greenville police Chief Drew Skelton and fire Chief Michael Wetzel responded to a residence on Morris Road for the report of an unresponsive subject. A family member led Skelton and Wetzel to a second-floor bedroom, where they discovered Dameron deceased on the bed. A search turned up a small amount of a white powdery substance located on top of a desk adjacent to the bed, according to a 28-page affidavit of probable cause. 

            Through a search of Dameron's phone, detectives identified a text thread between him and McLaughlin - which started July 29 and ended Aug. 3, 2018 - where they were having a coded, drug related conversation. Eventually, the man agrees to purchase three or four bags of heroin/fentanyl from McLaughlin, who was living at the Bush House, located at 200 West Broad Street in Quakertown.

            According to surveillance footage obtained by law enforcement, Dameron purchased the drugs from McLaughlin in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot at approximately 9:02 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2018. McLaughlin told authorities she sold Dameron either two or three bags of heroin/fentanyl for $10 a bag, according to court records.

            A preliminary hearing in the case, before Coggins, has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday, April 8.





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