Alleged dealer charged with manslaughter following overdose death

Derek Webb accused of providing drugs to Grady Hughes prior to his death

Derek Webb
Derek Webb of Westfield (pictured) is charged with manslaughter in the overdose death of 21 year-old Grady Hughes. Image Courtesy: Hampden County District Attorney's Office.

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man from Westfield has been arrested on a manslaughter charge, for allegedly causing another man’s heroin overdose death.

The office of Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced that Derek Webb was taken into custody on Tuesday by state troopers and Westfield police officers.

According to a news release sent to 22News by Gulluni spokesperson Jim Leydon, 21 year-old Grady Hughes of Westfield was found dead of an apparent overdose during the early morning hours of April 7. Leydon says that early on, investigators had identified Webb as a person who may have provided Hughes with drugs prior to his death.

Leydon says police had been actively looking for Webb, and recently discovered his whereabouts. Members of the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (VFAS) helped to take Webb into custody Tuesday.

Gulluni says that his office is committed to going after people who make money off other people’s addictions.

“As in this case, if there is a nexus between a victim’s fatal overdose and a drug dealer, we will investigate and prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law, up to and including charges of manslaughter,” Gulluni said.

In addition to the manslaughter charge, Webb is facing further charges of conspiracy to distribute a Class A drug, distribution of a Class A drug, Distribution of a Class B drug, and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. He is set to be arraigned in Westfield District Court.

Webb was one of three people arrested on warrants and multiple drug charges one day after Hughes’ overdose death. The year before, he was charged following a home invasion in Westfield.

Related Stories