Dead woman's cellphone used to find suspected drug dealers

Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office logo
Posted at 3:17 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 15:17:27-05

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Sheriff's investigators used a dead woman's cellphone to track down two people who are now accused of selling the drugs that killed her and her boyfriend last year.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials arrested Jose Alberto Marti, 50, and Melissa Christine Hanna, 42, on Monday. They are each charged with first degree murder in deaths of a woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

Detectives were called to an apartment in north Tampa on Aug. 1 regarding the suspected overdose deaths. The cause of death was found to be fentanyl intoxication, sheriff's officials said.

Eventually, detectives linked the drugs taken by the victims to Marti, the agency said in a news release. They used the woman's cellphone to contact Marti about buying more fentanyl. He responded to conduct a transaction, along with Hanna, the agency said.

They met with undercover detectives, who found fentanyl and crystal meth in their car, the release said. They admitted to selling the drugs to the victims, sheriff's officials said.

The names of the victims were not released by officials. Attorneys for Hanna and Marti were not listed on jail records.

"The poison these individuals pedaled is what ultimately killed their two victims," Sheriff Chad Chronister said. "Their arrests should serve as an eye-opening reminder to anyone who thinks it's OK to sell drugs in our communities."