Overdose death investigation protocol
The District Attorney of Monroe County has taken the position that all drug overdose deaths are to be treated as homicides. All scenes should be secured; search warrants, and when appropriate, consent, for the scene, cell phones, etc., should be obtained and all interviews should be recorded.
Notification of the incident should be made by the responding police agency to the on-call County Detective from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney, Criminal Investigations Division. The Monroe County Control Center can advise law enforcement agencies of the identity of the on-call County Detective. If the on-call County Detective is unreachable, contact Detective Sergeant Wendy Serfass.
For legal guidance or search warrant / criminal complaint approval, contact Assistant District Attorney Chad Martinez. If ADA Martinez is unavailable, contact the on-call Assistant District Attorney.
All of the above individuals’ contact numbers are available from the Monroe County Control Center.
Availability of criminal histories at preliminary hearings
Effective immediately, all discovery that is delivered to the Commonwealth at all preliminary hearings in accordance with the current case management system implemented by the Court of Common Pleas, shall include TWO copies of the complete and up to date NCIC and CLEAN report for each defendant.
The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the Commonwealth and Defense can initiate plea negotiations at the hearing, which cannot be accomplished without the criminal history being available for review.
Requirement to use Central Booking Center
Bail Criteria Form
Fugitive from justice complaints
When an individual who has been arrested on local charges in Monroe County, and subsequently incarcerated at the Monroe County Correctional Facility, is later discovered to be wanted on an out of state arrest warrant and subject to detainer, the Monroe County Correctional Facility shall contact the County Detective from the Monroe County Office of the DIstrict Attorney who is currently assigned to investigate criminal activity at the Correctional Facility and request that he or she complete and file a criminal complaint charging the inmate as a fugitive from justice under Pennsylvania Title 42, Section 9134 (relating to Arrest Prior to Requisition).
The Monroe County Correctional Facility shall provide the Detective with all of the identifying biographical information on the inmate, as well as a copy of the out of state warrant and any related paperwork in their possession.
The Detective shall complete the above criminal complaint and file it with the appropriate District Court in order to facilitate the inmate’s extradition back to the demanding state.
Suspicious death investigations
A county detective is required to respond to the scene of any and all suspicious (equivocal) death calls*.
When a first responder has determined that a death scene is suspicious the Monroe County Control Center will ‘dispatch’ a county detective by utilizing a ‘call list”. The MCCC dispatcher will be instructed to call the first detective on the list and if that detective is unavailable, continue calling down the list until a detective has been contacted that can respond to the call.
Responsibilities of the Responding County Detective
The responding detective will initially notify First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso that he/she is responding to the death scene.
In most cases the investigative file will be reassigned to the county detective whose primary assignment is homicide investigation support.
*Equivocal death investigations are those inquiries that are open to interpretation. There may be two or more meanings and the case may present as homicide, suicide or accidental death. The facts may be purposefully vague or misleading as in the case of the staged crime scene.