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Man indicted in Saratoga Springs heroin death

Man indicted in Saratoga Springs heroin death

A Saratoga Springs man has been indicted on a federal charge that he supplied heroin to a woman who

A Saratoga Springs man has been indicted on a federal charge that he supplied heroin to a woman who overdosed and died.

Matthew P. Charo, 34, faces one count of distribution of a controlled substance with death resulting.

The charge stems from the October 2014 overdose death of 30-year-old Saratoga Springs resident Katie-Lynn Scheidt. Family members have said Scheidt appeared to be doing the right things in her recovery from substance abuse, then relapsed.

Charo is accused of going with Scheidt by bus from Saratoga Springs to Schenectady in early October 2014 to find heroin for her.

Charo bought heroin, provided it to her, and she later overdosed and died at her Saratoga Springs residence, according to an earlier filing in the case. Scheidt is identified in paperwork by her initials, "K.S."

If convicted of the charge, Charo faces up to life in federal prison.

"Any dose of heroin can kill, and we have seen so many heroin overdose deaths in our communities," U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said in a statement Wednesday announcing the indictment. "Heroin dealers are playing Russian roulette, not only with the lives of their customers, but also with their own fates. Since any dose can kill, any dose could send a heroin dealer to prison for many years."

Authorities first arrested Charo on the charge in October. He has been in custody since.

"Our investigation revealed that K.S. and Charo spent approximately one hour in Schenectady and that during that time Matthew P. Charo obtained heroin from another which he in turn provided to K.S.," the federal complaint filed in October reads.

Scheidt returned home that evening in what her boyfriend later described to authorities as a highly intoxicated condition. Her boyfriend discovered her dead in the bathroom the next morning.

The medical examiner ruled her death was from acute heroin intoxication.

Charo, according to the federal court filing, admitted to investigators that he provided Scheidt heroin the evening before she died.

The FBI led the investigation with assistance from the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.

CDTA surveillance video and the woman's food stamp card records served as keys to the case. Investigators obtained footage from Oct. 2, 2014, the night before Scheidt died. It shows the woman and Charo boarding a bus in Saratoga Springs at 6:02 p.m. and then getting off in Schenectady at 7:08, according to the previous filing.

Scheidt then boarded a bus back to Saratoga Springs at 8:14 p.m. and arrived at her residence at about 9:45 p.m.

A 2002 Saratoga Springs High School graduate, Scheidt turned 30 in April 2014. She had worked to address her addiction through programs and family help.

Her mother, Eve Cascone, declined to comment on Wednesday, but in November said she believed the prosecution meant justice is being served.

"I'm very happy to know that there's some justice being served in Katie's case," Cascone said then. "I kind of consider it as an ode to Katie, if you will. This doesn't bring her back, but you know what? I feel like it's her speaking out the way she wanted to."

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