BLAISE RUSEK OF POTTSTOWN CHARGED WITH INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER IN OVERDOSE DEATH OF NADIA LOPEZ
On January 21, 2019 at 6:30 AM, the Lower Pottsgrove Police responded to Pinehurst Drive in Lower Pottsgrove Township for the report of an unresponsive twenty-five (25) year old female. Officers arrived at the single-family home and found Nadia Lopez unresponsive from an apparent opioid overdose. Efforts were made to revive Lopez by Police and responding ambulance personnel. Lopez was transported to the Pottstown Hospital for treatment but was declared dead on January 23, 2019. In the home, Officers located several bags containing white powder and stamped with “Monkey Shines.” This type of bag is commonly used for packaging heroin and/or fentanyl. During the investigation, Lopez’s phone was recovered by police.
Detectives examined Lopez’s phone and found that she had been in communication with Blaise Rusek, age 26 of Pottstown, PA, the evening before and the early morning hours on the day of her death. The two communicated with each other to coordinate Rusek’s travel to Philadelphia to purchase heroin/fentanyl for Lopez. The communications also show that they coordinated for Rusek to deliver the heroin/fentanyl to her home several hours prior to her death. Detectives confirmed the conversation through Rusek’s phone records and witness interviews.
Forensic Pathologist Ian C. Hood of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Lopez’s body on January 25, 2019 and determined that the cause of death was fentanyl toxicity.
An analysis by National Medical Services of the bags stamped “Monkey Shines,” located at the scene of Lopez’s overdose, were found to contain fentanyl.
Rusek was charged on August 14, 2019, with Involuntarily Manslaughter, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Rusek was taken into custody by the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department on August 27, 2019. Rusek was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Edward Kropp, Sr., who set bail at $500,000. Rusek was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 10, 2019 before Magisterial District Judge Kropp.