By Candy Woodall firstname.lastname@example.org
A Pennsylvania drug rehab founder and CEO is accused of selling heroin and fentanyl to the addicts the facility was designed to heal.
Federal officials say 65-year-old David Francis was dealing those deadly drugs to clients and throughout McKees Rocks, a borough near Pittsburgh.
The Next Step Foundation that Francis operated is listed as providing recovery housing to drug addicts and alcoholics.
Instead of providing the housing, education, support and services to help them recover from addiction, as the organization’s mission states, federal agents say Francis was acting as their drug dealer.
Federal authorities on Friday raided his home and the rehab facility amid charging him with intention to distribute fentanyl. His detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in federal court.
A person who bought drugs from him in May died of a fentanyl overdose, investigators said.
Federal officials began investigating in July after multiple overdoses were reported in McKees Rocks and nearby Ingram.
Fentanyl killed more people in Pennsylvania last year than any other drug, found in 52 percent of overdose victims, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Some 2,395 deaths were linked to fentanyl, a 130 percent increase from 2015.