Drug dealer accuses another in man's death

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A former Beaver County pill pusher shared crushed narcotics with a man who died just hours later, said another dealer who claimed she also was in the car, at a federal trial Wednesday.

"Chris [Radford] had been bugging him the whole night, wanting him to front him an Opana," said Katie Adams, 28, of Ambridge, at the second full day of the trial of David Best. The three went to Mr. Best's car, she said, and snorted a crushed pill provided by the defendant.

The next day, Ms. Adams said, Mr. Best called her, and said, "Radford's dead."

Mr. Best, 28, faces trial on charges of conspiracy to distribute Opana and oxycodone, possession with intent to sell those narcotics, brandishing a firearm while drug trafficking, three burglaries of a pharmacy, drug possession and selling drugs that caused a death.

Ms. Adams, who awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to a host of related crimes, said she was the getaway driver in the second of two break-ins at the Med-Fast Pharmacy in Baden. She said that Mr. Best broke into an adjacent Chinese restaurant, cut through the wall into the pharmacy, and made off with many Oxycontin and Opana pills.

She said she and her boyfriend got 35 percent of the pills for their role, and Mr. Best got 65 percent. She detailed many other means by which, she said, Mr. Best got pills to sell.

On Tuesday, assistant U.S. attorney Eric Rosen played for the jury the 911 call by Radford's mother.

"Please hurry!" the mother told an Economy dispatcher on May 9, 2012. She said her son had completed detoxification days before.

"He's not responding at all," she said, as her husband tried to perform chest compressions. "Oh, God, oh! Oh, God, oh! No!" she said repeatedly for minutes. She whispered, "Dear God, he's gone."

Mr. Best's attorney, Stanton Levenson, said Mr. Best didn't sell Radford any drugs he may have taken at that time, and added that the deceased had other health problems that caused his demise.

If found guilty of selling drugs that resulted in death, Mr. Best would face a minimum of 20 years in prison. Any sentence would be pronounced by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542, or on Twitter @richelord.


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