Skip to main content
Press Release

Mount Holly Springs Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing Drug That Resulted In Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Mount Holly Springs man pled guilty in United States District Court in Harrisburg Thursday to distributing heroin that resulted in the death of a Carlisle area man.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Derk Roberts, age 29, of Mount Holly Springs, pled guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell in Harrisburg to a charge of unlawfully distributing heroin in the Cumberland County area during the period of time beginning in January of 2010 until February 9, 2011. The heroin distributed by Roberts caused the death of Joshua Michael Hamman, age 27, of Carlisle. 

     The evidence presented in court established that on February 4, 2011 at approximately 3:25 p.m. a worker at the PPG glass manufacturing facility in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, found Hamman unconscious on the floor of a bathroom stall in the locker room/bathroom of the plant. Hamman had injected heroin and passed out. Facility staff administered CPR to Hamman until EMS personnel arrived and transported him to the Carlisle Regional Medical Center. Hamman was admitted to the ICU where on February 8, 2011 Hamman was taken off of life support and subsequently died at 8:15 pm that day.

     The Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation that established that Hamman had been in touch with Roberts the morning of February 4, 2011 via cell phone text messages. Hamman was asking the defendant if he could get heroin from Roberts later in the day. During the next few hours Hamman and Roberts exchanged text messages in which it was discussed that Roberts would be getting heroin in Maryland and would deliver it to Hamman at the PPG facility. At around 2:42 in the afternoon that day Roberts met Hamman in the PPG parking lot and provided him with several packets of heroin and then left. Hamman went back into work and into the bathroom stall where he injected the heroin and passed out. The autopsy determined that Hamman died as a result of opiate toxicity.

     Roberts was later interviewed by agents with the FBI and state police and admitted that he in fact sold Hamman the heroin on February 4, 2011. Roberts admitted that he had been selling heroin for about a year before he sold the heroin that led to Hamman’s death.

     Roberts entered into a plea agreement with the United States which, if accepted by the court, requires the court to impose a sentence of no less than 6 years nor more than 8 years imprisonment. Roberts also faces a fine of up to $1 million dollars and a supervised release term of no less than three years. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

     The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania States Police and the Cumberland County Drug Task Force.

     The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe who is assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Updated April 21, 2015