THIS IS A CASE of mother-doesn't-know-best.

An expectant mom who was busted Friday for dealing heroin on the streets of Upper Darby was found to be in possession of 232 bags of the deadly drug and a fully loaded .38-caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number, according to police.

Now, the young woman who is preparing to bring life into this world is at the center of a death investigation because Upper Darby police said that the labels on some of her bags of heroin matched the label found on a bag of heroin that was discovered in the pocket of a man who fatally overdosed from the drug the previous day.

"She is a purveyor of death," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said of the suspect, whom he identified as 22-year-old Patience Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, who is four months pregnant, lives on New Street near Merion Terrace, which is just across the street from the Upper Darby police station on West Chester Pike, Chitwood said.

About 5:30 p.m. Friday, officers allegedly observed Gonzalez conduct an open-air drug sale in front of her house and moved in to arrest her.

When cops searched Gonzalez, they found 22 bags of heroin on her, and when they searched her house, they found an additional 210 bags of heroin, some of which were labeled "FOR YOU" and some of which were labeled "SPEED," Chitwood said.

Authorities said they discovered the fully loaded illegal firearm sitting out on top of Gonzalez's dresser.

Gonzalez allegedly told police she bought the gun on the streets of Philadelphia for protection because she was dealing heroin.

She told authorities she was dealing heroin because she needed to support herself since the father of her child is on the run from Upper Darby police for possessing 250 bags of heroin, Chitwood said.

Talk about claiming necessity is the mother of invention.

Upper Darby police charged Gonzalez with firearms violations, possession with the intent to deliver heroin and related offenses, but the pregnant woman's troubles may just be beginning.

According to Chitwood, on the day before Gonzalez was busted, two people in the township - a 34-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man - died of heroin overdoses in separate cases.

The man's overdose occurred in a residence just two blocks from where Gonzalez lived, and in his pocket police officers discovered an empty heroin baggie labeled "FOR YOU," just as some of the baggies allegedly recovered from Gonzalez's house were labeled.

Given that police have responded to 58 heroin overdoses in the township this year alone, Chitwood said he had no problem labeling the pregnant woman, who does not use heroin herself, a "purveyor of death."

"I call her a purveyor of death because heroin is killing people all across this country," Chitwood said. "It's a major problem we're dealing with every day and she's dealing it. Period."

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