Thomas Santos, a 30-year-old from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was formally charged with delivering controlled substances that resulted in a death, according to Lehigh Valley Live. The matter involved significant amounts of electronic evidence that helped solve the case involving the death of a 29-year-old woman.
The victim was found dead inside her vehicle in late March, with a blue pill marked “M” on one side and “30” on the other. After a review by the Northampton County Coroner, it was determined the victim overdosed on fentanyl. Also contained in the vehicle was a cell phone. The phone was analyzed by digital forensic experts and the outcome of the analysis provided a suspect, Thomas Santos.
Text messages revealed that Mr. Santos had engaged in a conversation with the victim regarding the pills prior to her death. The pills, which turned out to be fentanyl disguised as Oxycodone, were given to the suspect hours before her death. The texts also indicated that Mr. Santos had mistakenly given the victim three pills instead of two.
Police stated that Mr. Santos had been a suspect in a previous overdose case involving the same pills, where Mr. Santos was ultimately not charged. However, this time he was not as lucky. Police arrested Mr. Santos and while doing so located drug paraphernalia in his possession, including heroin. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 1st.
A reoccurring theme we see in modern day casework is the use of electronic evidence in helping convict suspects. In this case, the victim’s phone contained valuable digital evidence that helped bring clarity, and potentially down the line, a conviction.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology