MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — It’s what’s been going on inside the second floor of 641 Broadway Avenue in McKees Rocks that has Aaron Stubna disturbed.
“These people need help,” Stubna said.
Federal agents say help is not what clients of the Next Step Foundation are getting.
David Francis, 65, is listed as the CEO and founder on the facility’s website. The website states that it’s an organization dedicated to assisting and improving the lives of those suffering from addiction and provides housing and to the people it serves.
However, officials say Francis and his co-conspirators were utilizing the foundation to distribute heroin and fentanyl to the rehab center’s clients.
Stubna owns Parkway Theater across the street and said he had no idea this was going on.
“Being that there is a halfway house across from my business, you would hope these people are there getting help and to hear they’re being fed more poison, that is disturbing to me,” Stubna said.
Over the summer, federal agents questioned multiple people that dealt with Francis. Authorities said these sources said Francis didn’t only deal drugs from his rehab center, but throughout the McKees Rocks area. They also said he keeps large quantities of heroin and fentanyl at his home on Chartiers Avenue and believe his tax business, All Personal Matters, was associated to his dealings in some way.
In May 2017, investigators said a person who bought drugs from Francis died from a fentanyl overdose.
Federal authorities raided his home and the rehab facility on Friday.
One man who didn’t want to be identified heard it all happen from his apartment nearby.
“I feel bad for him. I always thought it was never too late,” that man said. “I don’t want anyone else to get hurt anymore.”
Police found Francis on the second floor of his home during the raid Friday. KDKA knocked on his door. A woman answered. She described Francis as a wonderful man and didn’t have much to say about the accusations against him.
He has a detention hearing next Wednesday at the federal courthouse.
Francis has been charged with intention to distribute fentanyl.
The investigation started in July when multiple overdoses were reported in Mckees Rocks and Ingram.