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Charges Filed in Methadone Overdose Death

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP — Methadone is mainly used to help heroin addicts, but troopers in Pike County filed charges Tuesday, saying a man sold it to another man...
anthony damico

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP -- Methadone is mainly used to help heroin addicts, but troopers in Pike County filed charges Tuesday, saying a man sold it to another man, causing his death.

Troopers picked up Anthony Damico, 36, from Long Pond, and charged him with a drug delivery resulting in death, a crime that was rarely prosecuted until recently in Pennsylvania.

Troopers believe Damico played a role in the overdose death of another man near Newfoundland last February.

According to arrest papers, Damico sold methadone to Russell Loomis, 21, for $125. Loomis took the liquid and died.

"We were waiting for this for a long time," said neighbor Toni Catapano. "It has to start and end somewhere. Like I always say, it's an unfortunate and avoidable thing. It's very sad."

Neighbors remember Loomis as a helper, one of a kind, and while he may have struggled with drugs in the past, they don't believe Loomis ever used methadone until his death.

"It's not a secret this has become an epidemic. As I said, needs to be a beginning and end. There needs to be consequences, hopefully, scare people not to deliver drugs," Catapano said.

Investigators say Damico told them he visits a methadone clinic in Mount Pocono every day. Court papers go on to say Damico takes his dose of the drug that's meant to help with withdrawal from opiates at the clinic.

But somehow, troopers say, Damico supplied the liquid methadone to Loomis, causing his death.

Investigators say Damico told them he did methadone with Loomis that night but that the drug was already at the victim's home. But troopers say they uncovered text messages between the two discussing methadone.

Damico is currently locked up.