Dealer admits selling drugs that caused fatal overdose

A city drug dealer who sold fentanyl that killed a 19-year-old in 2016 pleaded guilty before his trial began in Lycoming County Court.

Arnold O. Cavanaugh Jr. was set to stand trial Monday for selling a deadly dosage of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl to Chase A. McKissick.

Cavanaugh, 22, of 834 Memorial Ave., pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver.

Initially charged with possession and delivery of a controlled substance and delivery resulting in death, Cavanaugh halted his three-day trial and accepted a sentence of 15 to 30 months in a state prison, according to court records.

Cavanaugh was given credit for already serving the past 12 months in prison.

Testimony likely would have placed Cavanaugh at McKissick’s Catherine Street home, handing him two bags of drugs. Two people saw McKissick ingest the bags, and he was found unresponsive at about 5:30 a.m. in early July of 2016.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, the 19-year-old was in cardiac arrest, according to an affidavit filed by city police.

After being put on life support at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center, McKissick died three days later. Doctors determined that he didn’t have sufficient brain activity to sustain life, police said.

McKissick’s girlfriend, Alexa Cranmer, was at McKissick’s house the afternoon before he overdosed. She said a man whose street name was “Flamesz/AJ” came to the house and gave the teen two “dope bags.” Cranmer said her boyfriend mixed the bags before snorting and smoking all of it. They went to bed around 11 p.m., she said. A friend at the apartment, Bryer Jacopetti, also confirmed that he saw McKissick snort and smoke both bags.

Lab tests done on bags found in the trash and labeled “Balmain Money” and “Premeditated” confirmed residue of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.