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Dead woman’s cellphone used to find suspected drug dealers

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(Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy)

Police say a dead woman’s cellphone was the key to finding two people who are now accused of selling the drugs that killed her and her boyfriend last year.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials arrested Jose Alberto Marti, 50, and Melissa Christine Hanna, 42, on Monday. They are each charged with first-degree murder in deaths of a woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

In August of 2020, police were called to a home in north Tampa regarding the suspected overdose deaths. The cause of death was found to be fentanyl intoxication, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators found that the drugs taken by the victims were linked back to Marti. When police used the woman’s cellphone to contact Marti about buying more fentanyl. He responded to conduct a transaction, along with Hanna, the agency said.

They met with undercover detectives, who found fentanyl and crystal meth in their car, the release said. They admitted to selling the drugs to the victims, sheriff’s officials said.