CLARION - The Clarion Borough Police Department will thoroughly investigate all drug-related deaths within its jurisdiction even if that case takes officers outside of town.
A Pittsburgh man who was convicted in October for his role in a drug delivery that resulted in the death of a Clarion man last year was sentenced Nov. 20 to serve up to 23 years in prison.
Dameon Tyrell Arrington, 26, was been referred to by Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron as a "merchant of death" who killed people by selling fentanyl.
In August 2018, Arrington delivered stamp bags containing heroin, acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl to Tanner Eisenman, 28, who was found dead the next day at his Clarion Borough residence.
"These types of cases can be difficult to investigate at times," acknowledged Clarion Borough Police Chief William H. peck IV. "The evidence and suspect in this case led the Clarion Borough Police Department to Pittsburgh.
"I'm proud of the officers of the Clarion Borough Police Department for not to let that deter them. They followed the evidence."
Peck said other borough officials recognized the seriousness of the case and supported the police department's work.
"Without their understanding and approval to allow the Clarion Borough Police Department to follow the evidence and investigate this crime outside the Borough of Clarion, this crime could have went unsolved," said Peck.
The evidence against Arrington was gained through the use of a confidential informant and a sting operation by the Clarion Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Clarion County President Judge James G. Arner sentenced Arrington to a minimum of 11 and one-half years to a maximum of 23 years in prison.
Arner said a lesser sentence would depreciate the seriousness of the crime.
"I'm pleased with last month's jury verdict and the sentence handed down by the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County in the case of Commonwealth versus Dameon T. Arrington," said Peck.
Arrington was convicted by a Clarion County jury of charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy-drug delivery resulting in death, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy-involuntary manslaughter, two counts of manufacture delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, conspiracy-manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of use-possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal use of a communication facility.
Peck said he observed Arrington making drug sales from the stoop of his Allegheny County home while he was on parole.
District attorney comments on case
"At the sentencing hearing, the victim's mother made an impassioned plea to Judge Arner," said Clarion County District Attorney Mark T. Aaron, who prosecuted the case. "She urged the court to impose a sentence which would do justice regarding her the death of her son."
During the hearing, Dixie Eisenman, the mother of victim Tanner Eisenman, said Arrington's two children can still see their father and can talk with him.
"She pointed out no matter what the sentence, (Arrington) will eventually get to go home to his family," said Aaron in a prepared release. "But she must go to the cemetery and touch a cold, hard gravestone to talk to her son."
Aaron said the victim's mother acknowledged her son was "not perfect" and made mistake he paid for with his life.
"This is the reason we started CNET 13 years ago," said Aaron. "There must be consequences for people who make sales calls into Clarion County to sell their inventory of fentanyl and kill Clarion County kids," said Aaron. "Fentanyl is death. Selling fentanyl is almost as certain to cause death as selling cyanide."
A total effort
Peck said the investigation was a joint law enforcement effort, involving members of the Clarion Borough Police Department, Clarion County Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), City of Pittsburgh Police Department (Homicide Unit, Narcotics Unit, Swat Team and Computer Crimes Unit), Pennsylvania State Police Troop C Vice Unit, Clarion County District Attorney's Office, and the cooperation of the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.
"This case would not have been successful without all the agencies working together," stressed Peck.
Arrington will be transferred to the State Correctional Institution in Greene County for induction into the state penal system.
"I hope this case sends a clear message, that if you commit these types of crimes and effect people in our community, we will not let jurisdictional lines stop us," Peck said the day after Arrington was sentenced. "We will work together as law enforcement and bring you to justice."