A Volusia County grand jury has returned an indictment charging an accused drug dealer with first-degree murder in the death of a 34-year-old Deltona mother.
According to a release from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the indictment was returned Monday in the case of a woman who overdosed in October 2017.
Officials say the defendant, Steve Montilla, has been behind bars since the week of the victim’s death.
Authorities say that's because Volusia County sheriff’s detectives who responded to the overdose immediately started working to track down her dealer, and then conducted a buy-bust operation that resulted in Montilla’s arrest on drug trafficking charges.
Court records show that Montilla, a Sanford resident, was recently sentenced to 39 months in state prison for trafficking heroin and related crimes.
Monday's grand jury decision is the first murder indictment of a drug dealer responsible for an overdose investigated by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say the office is treating all fatal overdose cases with a similar approach; identify the dealer as soon as possible and hold him or her accountable for the victim’s death.
Investigators say with Montilla already in prison on his previous drug charges, his murder case now goes to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution.