Gang member sentenced to 37 to 74 years for drug delivery death

November 30, 2022

Jose Sanchez-Rodriguez

Jose Sanchez-Rodriguez, formerly of Northampton, PA, was sentenced in Monroe County court to 37 to 74 years in prison for supplying a deadly dose of heroin which killed Edward Blew of Kunkletown in 2019.

Jose Sanchez-Rodriguez was found guilty following a jury trial which spanned over five days and included nearly thirty witnesses. 

The investigation was led by Trooper Nicholas De La Iglesia of Pennsylvania State Police, Lehighton Barracks, with assistance from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office Drug Delivery Resulting in Death Task Force.

After an extensive investigation, investigators learned that Jose Sanchez-Rodriguez, a Latin King gang member, had been distributing heroin to upwards of forty Monroe County residents. Sanchez-Rodriguez is not a drug addict and is considered a for-profit drug dealer who preyed upon the vulnerable drug-addicted population in Monroe County. The investigation revealed that Sanchez-Rodriguez had been distributing drugs for the last 18 years.

After the five day trial, conducted in August of 2022, the jury of twelve returned a verdict of guilty on all counts, convicting Sanchez-Rodriguez of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and related crimes. The jury heard from multiple expert witnesses which included gang experts, drug experts, and pathologists.

At sentencing, the Honorable Jennifer Harlacher-Sibum sentenced the defendant to not less than 37 years and no more than 74 years in a state correctional institution. The judge noted at sentencing that she believed the only way to keep the community safe was to ensure that Sanchez-Rodriguez does not have the ability to ever sell drugs again.

The prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Richard P White, presented argument at sentencing regarding Sanchez-Rodriguez’s lack of remorse and lifetime of criminal activity which spanned from drug dealing to gun violence. Testimony of the Blew family was heard at sentencing which filled the courtroom with tears and emotion.

The successful prosecution in this case was a result of collective law enforcement efforts which included assistance from the following agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Attorney’s Office, the Stroud Area Regional Police Department, Slate Belt Regional Police Department, Monroe County Probation and Parole, the City of Allentown Police Department, Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, and the Salisbury Township Police Department.

This case was a part of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office efforts led by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso and Detective Kim Lippincott of the Criminal Investigations Division to hold drug dealers accountable for the deaths of drug users. This initiative began in 2018 when First Assistant DA Mancuso formulated the Drug Delivery Resulting in Death Task Force.

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