District Attorney

Posted on: March 8, 2017

Lancaster Dealer Charged in Large Heroin Seizure, Man's Overdose Death

Joseph Colomba

A Lancaster man is facing several charges regarding a large seizure of a heroin and a fatal overdose last year in East Hempfield Township.

Joseph Colomba, 18, is charged with three felonies – drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver, and criminal use of a cellphone.

Colomba is at Lancaster County Prison on $1.5 million bail.

The charges resulted from a collaborative investigation involving Lancaster County Drug Task Force, East Hempfield Township police, and Lancaster city police Selective Enforcement Unit.

Investigators determined Colomba had been selling heroin branded, “New Times,” from his New Dorwart Street home. Colomba was known on the street as “Rico.”

Heroin with that branding is suspected in multiple fentanyl-related, fatal and non-fatal overdose incidents in Lancaster County. The investigation is ongoing.

Police connected a December 2016 sale Colomba made to a man who later died of overdose, then searched Colomba’s home and found 1,232 bags of the branded heroin.

East Hempfield Township police investigated the Dec. 10, 2016, death of a 29-year-old Millersville man, found dead in a vehicle on Indian Springs Road. Heroin baggies with the “New Times” stamp also were in the vehicle.

An autopsy showed the victim’s death was caused by levels of heroin and fentanyl found in his system.

Using cellphone evidence and witness interviews, police determined the victim had purchased a quantity of heroin from “Rico,” prior to the overdose.

As the investigation progressed, police identified “Rico” as Colomba and searched his home in the 300 block of New Dorwart Street on Feb. 6, 2017.

They uncovered 1,232 bags of branded heroin and $1,960 cash.

Colomba is presumed innocent.

This information is being released at this time so to protect certain time-sensitive elements of the ongoing investigation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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