Marshals Nab Fugitive Wanted In Overdose Death

OCEAN CITY – A Newark, Del. man wanted in Ocean City on manslaughter and other charges for allegedly supplying the drugs to another man who died of an overdose over the Memorial Day weekend this year in the resort was caught last week by U.S. Marshals in Wilmington, Del. and awaits extradition to Worcester County to face the charges.

The U.S. Marshals First State Fugitive Task Force arrested Aaron Joseph Hrehocik, 23, around 11 a.m. last Friday in Wilmington, Del. Earlier last week, the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, through the Delaware State Police, received a request from the Ocean City Police Department to attempt to locate and arrest Hrehocik.

The request came on the heels of a Worcester County Grand Jury indictment handed down against Hrehocik on Aug. 14. The grand jury indicted Hrehocik on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and distribution of controlled dangerous substance after reviewing evidence suggesting he supplied the drugs resulting in the fatal overdose of another man in Ocean City over the Memorial Day weekend.

On May 27, the OCPD investigated the death of Anthony Grazionale. The state Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of Grazionale’s death was oxycodone intoxication and an investigation conducted by the OCPD’s Criminal Investigation Division revealed that Hrehocik had supplied Grazionale with oxycodone shortly before his death.

After a brief investigation, the U.S. Marshals task force was able to determine last week Hrehocik was working for an on-site car detailing service and he was arrested without incident on Friday while detailing a customer’s car in Wilmington. He was transported to Delaware State Police for his arraignment and a hearing on his extradition to Worcester.

The case against Hrehocik is the second this year in which a Worcester County grand jury has indicted an alleged drug dealer accused of supplying drugs to a victim who eventually died and it signals a tougher stand by the OCPD’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) on cases involving overdose fatalities.

In November 2006, an Ocean City man, Joshua Gruber, 25, was indicted on CDS distribution and reckless endangerment charges after an investigation revealed he played a role in the overdose death of resort woman Nicole Marie Dudas, 22, who was found dead in her north Ocean City residence two months earlier.

Dudas’ body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore where a full autopsy revealed she died from an overdose of cocaine, methadone and alcohol. The toxicology report contributed the cause of death to controlled dangerous substance intoxication, but further specifics were not noted in the final report.

Ocean City police were called to Dudas’ resort residence on Oct. 5, 2006 where they found the victim deceased. Police became suspicious of Gruber when it was confirmed the two were partying together two days prior to the discovery of Dudas’ body. It was during this time investigators believe Dudas ingested the drugs that ultimately caused her fatal overdose.

Gruber told police Dudas repeatedly asked him for some of his prescribed methadone, and after refusing several times he eventually relented and provided her with the drugs that at least contributed to her death. Two months later, the grand jury indicted Gruber on distribution and reckless endangerment charges after the toxicology report could not specifically attribute the cause of death to the methadone he provided to the victim.

In March, Gruber pleaded guilty to distribution of methadone and was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Hrehocik was indicted by the grand jury on Aug. 14 and was arrested and taken into custody by U.S. Marhsals on Aug. 24. No arraignment or preliminary hearing dates have been set.