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March 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Issaquah man accused of selling heroin that led to overdose death

A King County District Court judge found probable cause on Tuesday to hold a 33-year-old Issaquah man in jail on investigation of controlled-substance homicide for allegedly selling heroin to a Bellevue man in May 2011 who then died from an overdose.

Anthony Cho was booked into the King County Jail on Monday and was ordered held on $50,000 bail, according to King County prosecutors.

Cho was arrested after another man, Adam Pepka, told prosecutors in February that Cho was his heroin supplier and that he acted as Cho’s “middleman” in a number of drug transactions, according to the statement of probable cause outlining the police case against Cho. Pepka, who was originally charged with controlled-substance homicide in August 2011, pleaded guilty Feb. 21 to two felony drug charges, court records show.

He was scheduled to be sentenced April 5, but his court hearing will be postponed, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

The information Pepka, now 22, provided to police and prosecutors last month included “many statements made against his own penal interest, which in my opinion gave credibility to the information he was providing,” Bellevue police detective Jerry Johnson wrote in the probable-cause statement.

Cho was first interviewed by Bellevue police in August 2011, three months after 19-year-old Zachary Lyter’s father found him dead from a heroin overdose in Lyter’s bedroom, according to the probable cause statement. Cho claimed at the time that he was a heroin user and had never sold drugs, it says.

Pepka was charged based on text messages between himself and Lyter, as well as a witness statement from a 17-year-old girl who accompanied Lyter to a Burger King restaurant in Issaquah, where Lyter purchased $60 worth of heroin, the statement says.

Before entering his guilty plea, Pepka told police and prosecutors that he drove Cho around because Cho did not have a driver’s license, and acted as Cho’s intermediary in various drug transactions, according to the statement.

“Cho would never allow Pepka to sell Cho’s narcotics independently,” the statement says. “… Cho was present at every transaction and personally conducted every drug and money exchange.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: controlled-substance homicide, King County District Court


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