Anthony Cho, 33, of Issaquah, is in King County Jail on suspicion of controlled substance homicide after a Bellevue Police Department investigation into a Bellevue man's heroin overdose death. Cho's second appearance is set for March 21.
The case stems from the death of Zachary V. Lyter, 19, of Bellevue, who died May 4, 2011, of a heroin overdose at his Cougar Mountain home.
The man originally charged with controlled substance homicide in the case, Adam Pepka of Seattle, told investigators that Cho was the supplier, according to the probable cause statement.
According to state law, a person is guilty of controlled substance homicide when he or she sells illegal drugs to someone who later dies after using the drugs.
Cho was arrested Monday, and a King County District Court Judge found probable cause Tuesday to hold Cho in jail on suspicion of controlled substance homicide. The judge set Cho's bail at $50,000.
Cho was identified last month as the heroin supplier by Pepka, who investigators say arranged for the sale. Pepka, 22, pleaded pleaded guilty last month to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, which was reduced from an original charge of controlled substance homicide in the case.
According to Cho's probable cause statement, Pepka exchanged text messages with Lyter to meet at an Issaquah Burger King parking lot for a heron sale. A 17-year-old girl, who gave a statement to investigators during Lyter's death investigation, accompanied Lyter to the sale, according to the probable cause statement.
The next day, Lyter's father found him dead at their home.
According to investigators, Pepka's text messages after the exchange acknowledges his involvement in the delivery to Lyter, and that Pepka was a middle man in the transaction.
Pepka was investigated by the Bellevue Police Department Special Enforcement Team in connection with Lyter's death, and arrested in August 2011, several months after Lyter died. Cho had been a passenger in Pepka's car, investigators said, and Cho told police that he gave money to Pepka to buy drugs for him.
Pepka originally was charged with controlled substance homicide in connection with Lyter's death, but pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substances and will be sentenced on April 5, according to court papers.
Pepka told Bellevue investigators last month that while he drove the car during the sale to Lyter, Cho supplied the heroin in that exchange. Pepka said that Cho didn't not give him any money to buy drugs, contrary to Cho's earlier statement, and he didn't have any money when he was arrested several months after Lyter's death, which would contradict Cho's story, according to investigators.
Pepka told investigators that Cho was with him during every drug sale, though Pepka would drive because Cho did not have a license.
Pepka also said that Cho was in the car during that last sale to Lyter, according to the probable cause statement.
Cho told police that Pepka's story identifying him as the supplier was not true, according to the probable cause document.
Cho's next court appearance is March 21.