DA: Reading Man Arrested For Heroin, Fentanyl Trafficking Sold Drugs To Fatal Overdose Victim

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A Reading man arrested on suspected heroin and fentanyl trafficking was arrested on additional charges after learning he sold drugs to a routine customer who fatally overdosed in 2020, authorities said.

In February 2020, the Berks County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force initiated a drug investigation into Ramon Belen, 59, and obtained search warrants for him and his two addresses in the 600 block of Bingaman Street, according to Berks County Detectives.

On Feb. 26, detectives served the search warrants and seized approximately 1,000 packets of heroin/fentanyl, nine firearms with a stock of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a digital scale, and over $170,000 in suspected drug proceeds, authorities said.

The total value of all the drugs recovered was in excess of $10,000, authorities said.

Belen was charged with possession with the intent to deliver heroin/fentanyl and persons not to possess firearms. 

Later that day, Belen was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Nicholas Bentz with bail set at one million dollars. 

Belen has been housed in Berks County Jail since.

Following the investigation, Berks County Drug Taskforce Detectives learned that officers with the Robeson Township Police Department were dispatched to a home in the 200 block of Furnace Road in Birdsboro on Feb. 4, 2020, for a possible drug overdose resulting in the death of a 40-year-old man, authorities said.

As a result, a joint investigation into the overdose death was conducted by the Berks County District Attorney Drug Task Force Detectives and Robeson Township Police Department.

On Feb. 7, 2020, an autopsy of the victim was performed by a Forensic Pathologist at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center, however, the toxicology results were not available for another month.

On March 9, 2020, a toxicology report conducted by the Berks County Coroner’s office revealed the cause of death as a result of acute fentanyl and heroin toxicity, authorities said.

During the investigation, detectives learned that the victim had a history of drug use and purchased heroin/fentanyl on several occasions from Belen, and the most recent purchase was made the night before his death, authorities said.

As a result of the investigation, detectives charged Belen with drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance.

As of July 8, Belen has not been arraigned on the new charges.

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