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‘People immediately began to drop': Man arrested after overdoses at South Side apartment

PITTSBURGH — Federal drug charges have been filed in connection with deadly drug overdoses Sunday morning at an apartment building in Pittsburgh's South Side, officials said Monday.

Three people died and four others were hospitalized as a result of the overdoses, which were reported at the Southside Works City Club Apartments on Tunnel Boulevard, police said.

Peter Rene Sanchez-Montalvo was arrested Monday morning by a task force of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detectives and federal law enforcement officials. Charges against him include possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance causing death or serious bodily injury.

Investigators said they identified Sanchez-Montalvo as the person who provided the drugs to the victims, and they arrested him about 3 a.m. at his home in McKees Rocks.

Sanchez-Montalvo was at the Insomnia Discotec in Brookline Saturday night before he went to the apartment building, authorities said.

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Several other people who were at Insomnia, including members of the band that played there, joined Sanchez-Montalvo for an after party, police said.

Orange wristbands were distributed at Insomnia, and all the victims were wearing orange wristbands.

A white powdered substance believed to be cocaine was distributed by Sanchez-Montalvo to people at the after party, according to investigators. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office initially determined the presence of fentanyl in the white powder.


“The surviving users stated that after they did a ‘bump’ of suspected cocaine people immediately began to drop and suffer adverse effects,” a news release from the Department of Justice said.

Five of the victims were found in the apartment, one was found in an elevator and another was found outside at 26th and Carson streets, police said.

>>RELATED: Police warning of tainted drugs after South Side overdose deaths

Authorities said Sunday the overdoses appear to have been isolated and are not a case of tainted drugs being passed around in a large volume at a venue. However, they are concerned about a tainted and potentially deadly batch of drugs in the community.

The apartment where the afterparty was held belonged to Montalvo, police said, but he had paid a friend $500 to use their name on the rental agreement instead of his own.