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Schuylkill County Police News

Mahanoy City Man Charged After Allegedly Selling Fatal Fentanyl Dose

Bail set at $250K

A Mahanoy City man is facing charges after he allegedly sold a bag of fentanyl to a person he considered to be “like a brother” that killed him.

Last week, police in Mahanoy City charged Brendon Brown with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and other related charges stemming from an incident in late-March.

According to an affidavit filed by Mahanoy City Police Cpl. Charles Kovalewski, he responded to a cardiac arrest dispatch on March 30, at about 10:50 a.m.

At the scene, Kovalewski says he encountered Derreck Forker-Leso who “appeared to be deceased” and on the floor. Next to him was his mother. Life-saving measures were taken by first responders but were unsuccessful, according to the affidavit.

Forker’s mother provided police with a felt bag that contained parts of a small Ziploc baggie and a blue paper baggie, both of which are known means of packaging fentanyl and heroin for sale, Kovalewski says.

He then says that Forker’s mother gave him permission to search his phone for possible clues into her son’s death.

Kovalewski says he searched Forker’s Messenger account and found conversations from earlier that morning that’d prove vital to him making an arrest.

He says back-and-forth messages between Forker and Brendon Brown started at 5:55 a.m. that Saturday morning, March 30.

Forker allegedly says in the messages that he wants to purchase drugs from Brown.

Brown reportedly agrees but warns Forker: “This s*** is no joke so like I need to make sure your ok you feel me.”

They agree on a price of $20 and Brown reportedly says he’s on his way to Forker’s home

“I just walked out the door bro I’ll be there in like 4 minutes,” Brown reportedly wrote in a Messenger message.

Forker reportedly replies, “okay just let me know when you get close bro as soon as you open the door look to the left and I will be there with the 20 for you lol, Just let me know when you’re close so I know bro.”

Brown reportedly repeats his warnings about the potency of the drugs he’s going to sell to Forker in a follow-up message. He writes, “And bro please be careful with this s*** for real like it’s not a whole bunch in the bag but like I said we don’t get high easily and the first time I got this s*** I was not enough like four bags so the last thing I need is that.”

Several more messages are exchanged and Brown then writes after the delivery is apparently made, “remember problem with me calling you in like 5 minutes you better answer the phone or my ass will be up there within our can like spritz spritz.”

Forker then replies to that message and writes to Brown, “I can tell it’s legit bro the taste is good and that’s what made me know for sure it’s 100%, I did it all bro, Thanks for helping me out bro.”

Brown then reportedly tried to place an audio call via Messenger to Forker at 7:47 a.m. Forker did not answer that call.

At 8:06 a.m., Brown wrote to Forker, “bro what did I say about answering me you got me worried as f***.”

He then attempts to place another audio call on Messenger at 8:09 a.m. but there’s no answer.

Cause of Death

Schuylkill County Coroner David Moylan determined that Forker died as a result of homicide and said that a toxicology report showed positives for fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl.

Brown’s Arrest

On June 26, at about 8:50 a.m., Mahanoy Police Chief Thomas Rentschler was on routine patrol when he spotted Brown in the area of E. Market and S. 12th streets in the borough.

Rentschler says he asked Brown to get in his patrol vehicle to have a conversation. Brown allegedly agreed to this request and was taken back to the Mahanoy City police station.

Rentschler confronted Brown with a record of the Messenger conversation he reportedly had with Forker on the morning of March 30. Brown then allegedly admitted to delivering what would be a fatal dose of fentanyl to Forker that morning.

In the affidavit, police say Brown appeared remorseful and said it was never his intent to harm Forker, whom he considered to “be like a brother to him.”


Brown was arraigned on the afternoon of June 26 before District Magistrate Anthony Kilker. He’s charged with first-degree felony Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and felony charges of possession with intent to deliver, possession, and criminal use of a communication device.

Kilker set bail at $250,000 and Brown was remanded to Schuylkill County Prison, where he remains.

Brown will be due back in Kilker’s court on July 11 for a Preliminary Hearing.

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