PITTSBURGH — A man was arrested Monday on suspicion of providing a white powdery substance tainted with fentanyl at an after-party in Pittsburgh, leading to the death of three men.
Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo was arrested around 3 a.m. on federal charges of distributing a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Montalvo, 25, who also goes by the first name Carlos, appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon for a brief hearing. He said nothing except to answer the judge’s questions about requesting a lawyer be appointed to represent him, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Federal marshals returned him to jail pending a detention hearing on Sept. 26.
It’s unclear who alerted emergency authorities, who arrived at the apartment building around 4 a.m. Sunday to find several people dead or in need of medical help.
Three men — 32-year-old Rubiel Clemente-Martinez, of Columbus, Ohio; 38-year-old Josue Soberal Serrano, of Carthage, Missouri, and 32-year-old Joel Pecina, 32, of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania — were pronounced dead at the scene.
One man remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition, while others were in stable condition.
Five of the victims were found in an apartment. Clemente-Martinez was found outside an elevator at the building.
All of the victims who overdosed had been at the same bar on Saturday night, where a band was performing, and were invited to the apartment by Montalvo, according to Pittsburgh police.
A witness told investigators that Montalvo was “showing off all the money that he had” and then offered up a box of what the witness believed was cocaine, according to a criminal complaint.
The witness said Montalvo went around the room offering the drugs on a knife for partygoers to sniff, according to the complaint. The witness refused, a fight ensued, and the witness fled, the complaint says.
The medical examiner’s office has initially determined the powder contained the powerful opioid fentanyl, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.