Investigation connects suspected heroin dealer with fatal overdose

Aaron Bezahler, 22, was arrested by the drug task force.

On June 6, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force acting on a warrant, arrested Aaron Bezahler, 22, of Tisbury for conspiracy to violate drug laws and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Bezahler was released on $1,000 bail on June 7.

According to a report released on Wednesday by the task force, a subsequent investigation has confirmed that there is probable cause that heroin sold by Bezahler was used in a fatal overdose that occurred in Tisbury on April 20. “Bezahler arranged the time, location, and the amount of heroin sold; Bezahler was a link in the chain of distributing heroin to [the victim] that we believe caused his death,” the report states.

According to the report, written by Michael Snowden of the Edgartown Police Department and the task force, a search of Bezahler’s cell phone history showed an exchange of 47 text messages and two voice exchanges with the overdose victim on April 20. “The text messages show a clear and obvious picture that [the victim] contacted Bezahler for one reason, to purchase narcotics.” Text messages show that the victim initially contacted Bezahler for Suboxone, a prescription drug used to curb opiate cravings, but Bezahler wrote back that he only had heroin. It appears from the texts that the drug buy occurred shortly before 6 pm. Bezahler texted “Good?” at 6:46 pm. But there was no activity on the victim’s phone after 5:56 pm.

His body was discovered at his home by police on April 23.

The report stated the drug task force “was familiar with Bezahler as he has been under investigation for the distribution of [Percocet] and heroin on the Island for some time.”

Police stated that after Bezahler was arrested at the home of Gabrielle Joubert on Metcalf Drive in Edgartown on June 6, he claimed he did not sell the heroin to the victim, but that he acted as a middleman to set up the exchange with Sean Geddis. After investigating his claim, police found no reason to believe Geddis was involved.

The case remains an open investigation.