PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A man accused of providing a white powdery substance tainted with fentanyl at an after-party in Pittsburgh’s South Side last weekend, appeared in federal court Thursday afternoon where he entered a not guilty plea.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned a seven-count indictment against Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo. The 25-year-old California man, also known as Carlos, faces a single count of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute and six counts related to the three deaths as well as injuries suffered by four other men who used the drugs.
Montalvo pleaded not guilty in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Eddy. He will stay in jail under no bond pending a hearing.
The possibility of going to trial was discussed, which they estimate could take a month.
Authorities have said all of the victims who overdosed had been at the same bar in Brookline Saturday night. They later attended a party at the Southside Works City Apartments where Montalvo allegedly passed around what victims thought was cocaine.
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The three men who died are identified as 32-year-old Rubiel Martinez of Columbus, 38-year-old Josue Serrano of Carthage, and 32-year-old Joel Pecina of Coraopolis.
Investigators say surviving victims said they did a “bump” of suspected cocaine and people immediately began to “drop.”
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