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2 Lancaster County men plead guilty to providing heroin that caused fatal overdoses

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Paul Rinear (left) and Zachery Hardy

LANCASTER — Two Lancaster County men will each serve 4- to 8-year prison terms for providing heroin that caused fatal overdoses, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Paul Rinear, 33, of Ephrata, and Zachery Hardy, 30, of Elizabethtown, pleaded guilty to felony drug delivery resulting in death charges in separate hearings, the district attorney’s office said in a press release.

The plea agreements were arranged by Assistant District Attorney Maria Cusick.

“While these guilty pleas will not bring back the two lives lost,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said in the press release, “we hope the prison sentences serve as messages to predatory dealers distributing these poisons in our communities.

“These cases truly matter to surviving family members. They need to know there will be consequences for the person who supplied the deadly drugs.”

Rineer admitted to providing heroin to a woman who was a patient at an area hospital on March 10. The woman overdosed and died on March 16, the district attorney’s office said.

As part of his sentence, he was ordered to pay $3,346 for the victim’s funeral costs by County President Judge Dennis Reinaker.

Hardy sold a 10-bag bundle of heroin to a Conoy Township man on Oct. 19, 2016. The man died the next morning, the DA’s office said. County Judge Howard Knisely ordered Hardy to pay $3,884 for the victim’s funeral costs.