UPDATE: Dealer Charged For Selling To Overdose Victim

Posted On November 22, 2013

By Mike Perleberg



Adam Lelli

Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department

Update posted Friday, November 22 at 6:49 a.m.:


Adam Lelli made his first appearance in a Dearborn County courtroom Thursday. Dearborn Superior Court I Judge Jon Cleary ordered him held on $500,000 surety and $250,000 cash bond.




Original story posted Thursday, November 21 at 12:45 p.m.:


(Greendale, Ind.) – An alleged heroin dealer is in jail accused of selling an overdose victim his last quantity of heroin.


Adam Joseph Lelli, 29, of Lawrenceburg is held in jail in Dearborn County on charges of Reckless Homicide (Class C felony) and two counts of Dealing in a Narcotic Drug (Heroin) (Class B felony). He was charged Tuesday and arrested the same day.


The morning of September 29, family members found Eric DeRosa, 29, unresponsive in his bedroom at his mother and step-father’s home on Gleneagles Place in Greendale. DeRosa was later pronounced dead upon arrival at Dearborn County Hospital.


Investigators with Greendale Police recently received a toxicology report citing DeRosa’s cause of death as a heroin overdose.


According to an affidavit detailing the investigation by Greendale Police detectives, DeRosa had a fresh injection site on his right arm. Officers also found heroin and a syringe in his room.


Detectives used DeRosa’s cellphone records to track his last heroin purchase to the early morning hours of September 28, a day before his death. DeRosa had texted Lelli about purchasing heroin the night of September 27.


In a November 9 interview, Lelli allegedly told investigators that he purchased the heroin from a dealer in Cincinnati going by the name “D.” He said he then delivered the drug to DeRosa by placing the batch in the mailbox outside DeRosa’s home. Detectives said Lelli allegedly went on to tell them that he had used some of the heroin with DeRosa at work on September 28.


After work, DeRosa went home then to Lawrenceburg Fall Fest with friends that evening. His mother told detectives that she did not believe her son was under the influence of any narcotics before he left for the festival.


DeRosa had gone to a downtown Lawrenceburg bar to drink following the festival. A friend took DeRosa’s keys because he had become intoxicated. Unable to get home on his own, he went to the home of an older female co-worker, sleeping on the couch. That co-worker told police DeRosa appeared to be fine the next morning, September 29, when she took him home between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.


DeRosa’s step-father arrived home at about 12:50 that afternoon. He found his step-son’s bedroom door locked. After using a coat hanger to unlock the door, the step-father found DeRosa unresponsive. 911 was called and CPR was performed before the EMTs arrived to take DeRosa to the hospital.


Detectives note that they could not find any other cell phone records indicating the purchase of heroin after the September 27 arranged deal with Lelli.


Investigators also learned that Lelli had sold DeRosa another dose of heroin on September 26. DeRosa paid $24 for the purchase, according to the affidavit.