After Acquittal, More Charges for Suspected Schuylkill County Drug Dealer

POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- A suspected drug dealer in Schuylkill County was back in court Wednesday on different charges weeks after he was acquitted of causing an overdose death.

Prosecutors say he continued selling opioids even after a woman died after he sold her drugs.

Two weeks ago, a jury found Kyle Merenda of Barnesville not guilty for selling the drugs that killed Alexandria Sienkiewicz of Tamaqua in 2016.

Her family members were emotional leaving the courtroom.

"It was infuriating to see a jury sit there and let him off of all charges because they don't understand addiction," said the victim's father John Sienkiewicz.

Merenda was back in court on similar charges. He's accused of selling an undercover officer fentanyl, the same drug that killed Sienkiewicz in 2016.

This arrest happened almost two years after Merenda was charged for Sienkiewicz's death.

At Merenda's preliminary hearing, he asked the judge to reduce his bail. That request was denied.

"I know what the jury came back with and they found him not guilty, but he still knew what the consequences of that drug could be -- someone died," said Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O'Pake. "And he was tried for someone dying as a result of taking fentanyl and here he is while that case is pending still selling fentanyl."

Alexandria's father John Sienkiewicz says even though Merenda was not convicted for the death of his daughter, he's hopeful he will be convicted of these additional charges.

This dad's fight against opioids isn't over.

"For us, losing this case may have been a battle lost. We didn't lose the war. We're not going to."

In addition to the charges Merenda is facing in Schuylkill County, he also has more drug-related charges in Luzerne County, and those charges are for continuing to sell fentanyl after Alexandria Sienkiewicz died.


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