Updated: Bail set at $50,000 for Portsmouth woman charged in heroin death
Jennifer Landry, 41, of 309 Oriental Gardens, Portsmouth, has been charged with sale of a controlled drug and sale of a controlled drug, death resulting, a felony charge which could put her in jail for life.
Police allege that Landry sold $45 worth of heroin to Svetlana Filippenko of Ocean Road in Portsmouth on Nov. 20. Filippenko was found dead in her apartment the next morning after ingesting and/or injecting the drug.
The state's chief medical examiner declared her cause of death to be 'acute heroin intoxication' with the manner of death ruled accidental.
Landry was arraigned on the two felony charges in 10th Circuit Court, Portsmouth District Division, Monday morning, and bail was set at $50,000 cash.
Portsmouth prosecutor David Colby said Landry has a long criminal history related to drugs and was already being held on bail for a drug possession charge filed in June.
He said when police tried to question Landry about Filippenko's death, she fled to Maine and had to be extradited back to New Hampshire to face the charges.
Under New Hampshire law, any person who manufactures, sells or dispenses any controlled drug is strictly liable for a death which results from the injection, inhalation or ingestion of that substance.
After Monday's hearing, Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald said he hopes the message from Landry's arrest is two-fold: 'The young adults in our community who have drug addiction, this certainly shows where that can lead, and I hope they will take it as an impetus to get help,' MacDonald said.
He said the message to those who want to profit from others' drug addictions is that Portsmouth police will expend the resources necessary to find and prosecute them.
'Portsmouth is a bad place to be a heroin dealer,' MacDonald said.
A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 15 in Portsmouth District Court.
According to court records, police were already familiar with Filippenko and Landry and their drug histories before November.
On Jan. 18, 2012, a Portsmouth police detective and a confidential informant allegedly purchased a gram of heroin from Filippenko, for which she was arrested and charged.
At the time of her arrest, Filippenko told police she was a heroin user herself and having a hard time staying clean.
On Nov. 21, Filippenko was found dead in her room by a family member who had gone in to shut off an alarm clock.
Over the course of the next several days, police interviewed friends and others who confirmed Filippenko's drug use and were able to help lead police to Landry.
According to text messages police gathered from Landry's cellphone, she told Filippenko the heroin was 'twice as strong' as previous doses she had sold to her. Police said Landry sent Filippenko a text message after making the drug sale that simply said 'Be careful hun…' Police said it does not appear any more text messages were sent by Filippenko or any phone calls made or received after that.
On Nov. 28, Landry was arrested by police in Portland, Maine on the New Hampshire arrest warrant. On Dec. 4, she was arrested at the Cumberland County Jail on the outstanding warrant of possession of a controlled narcotic and brought back to New Hampshire.
According to court records, on Dec. 12 Landry admitted to selling Filippenko heroin on the day in question.