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A Whitaker man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh in connection with the death of a drug user.
Justin Thornton, 32, is accused of distributing acetylfentanyl and fentanyl in August 2015 that killed a user, says a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.
The indictment also charges Thornton with possession with intent to distribute heroin, acetylfentanyl, fentanyl, crack cocaine and cocaine.
Fentanyl is a prescription narcotic used to control severe pain. Widely abused, the drug is sold illegally under street names such as "china girl" and "china white." According to published reports, nearly 100 people in Allegheny County died last year from abusing fentanyl.
Acetylfentanyl is a so-called designer drug that is similar to fentanyl.
Thornton is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail awaiting a trial April 20 before Common Pleas Court Judge Edward J. Borkowski on drug trafficking charges filed by Allegheny County Police.
County police, the West Mifflin Police Department and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case, Hickton's office said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Hart is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Originally published March 09, 2016.