3 sentenced for providing heroin to a woman who fatally overdosed


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Three people have been sentenced in Lancaster County Court for providing fentanyl-laced heroin to a woman who died after apparently using heroin for the first time.

Investigators discovered that the 30-year-old victim had wanted to try heroin and asked a friend, Ivy Zerphey, to provide her with some.

Officials say Zerphey and two others, Lakisha Mercado and Chance Barber, were involved in the drug sale which led to the woman’s overdose on December 7, 2017, in East Hempfield Township.

All three pleaded guilty to drug delivery resulting in death in plea agreements arranged by Assistant District Attorney Janie Swinehart.

Mercado will serve three to seven years in prison, police identified her as the supplier.

Zerphey will serve two to five years, she was a friend of the victim and the link to Barber and Mercado.

Barber will serve two to five years, he arranged the buy with Mercado and went with Zerphey to pick up the drugs.

At sentencing hearings last week for Zerphey and Barber, the victim’s relatives scolded Zerphey for providing the deadly substance to someone who saw her as a friend.

Zerphey and Barber introduced the victim to heroin while supplying themselves with heroin using the victim’s money, the relatives said in court.

ADA Swinehart said it was the victim’s first time using heroin, which was determined to have been laced with fentanyl.

The victim died at a Southview Drive home.

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