NORTH PORT — Leslie Treworgy was desperate. She needed a narcotics fix, according to police documenting the 58-year-old woman’s final hours in June 2019.
Within hours of messaging her alleged dealer, she lay dead from an overdose.
His drug cocktail turning lethal, the alleged dealer phoned for help.
Police on Monday charged Michael Felix Stankus in the death of Leslie Treworgy, ending an 18-month investigation stymied in part by COVID-19 and other factors.
“Sometimes, the stars have to align,” North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said. “And in this case, they did.”
Investigators looking into Treworgy’s overdose found social media exchanges and other evidence to build a case and charge Stankus, 47, a rare instance of an alleged dealer implicating himself, police on Tuesday.
In a series of social media exchanges on Facebook Messenger obtained by North Port police, for instance, Treworgy, who used the screen name Leslie Dean, and Stankus dialogued about an early morning drug deal on June 23, 2019, investigators asserting that Stankus was the drug hook-up, Treworgy his client.
“Idk what you need??” Stankus reportedly messaged Treworgy in the hours prior to police finding her at a North Port house, “Idk’ meaning “I don’t know.”
“D and soft,” she replied about 90 minutes later. “And clean. I share. Talk to me. U got ride and place. Tommy home.”
Stankus and Treworgy would go back and forth on social media over the next several hours, tossing around terms such as “donuts” and “soft.” Donuts, or D, is slang for the prescription narcotic dilaudid, and soft references powdered cocaine, police said.
Final exchanges between the pair show Treworgy’s desperation, Stankus at one point warning her that “You can’t back down on me now.”
She responded a few minutes later with: “I would never skate. U can carry me on your shoulder. Or I can walk out with help. Y’alls choice.”
Seconds later she messaged: “Doors open.”
Stankus responded with: “Relax help is on the way.”
In a final and terse message, Treworgy wrote: “I’m done. Pain extreme.”
And within 10 minutes, loaded with a deadly mixture of narcotics that make users at once fly and chill, she lay dead at house on Targee Avenue.
Stankus had phoned police, stayed there to explain his version of events, most of that dialogue redacted in a police report, but showing officers where she had kept drug paraphernalia in a bathroom drawer.
Eighteen months later, an autopsy, an arrest for allegedly dealing fentanyl and extensive police work that included pursuing him by phone and showing up at his home, Stankus was arrested on Monday. He was charged with manslaughter and related felonies in Treworgy’s death, which would have been painless; ingesting a mixture of cocaine and dilaudid, a so-called opioid analgesic, her nervous system would have collapsed, dropping her to the floor senseless.
Treworgy’s death to Stankus’s arrest, Taylor said, involved pieces of a puzzle that took shape in the last weeks. Officers, he added, had to build an investigation, gather details, await toxicology findings that were delayed as COVID-19 arrived, finally have enough evidence that the drugs Stankus allegedly sold ended Leslie Treworgy’s life. State prosecutors decided the details were enough to charge Stankus.
Stankus, who had listed himself as unemployed in court documents, remains in the Sarasota County Jail under a $100,000 cash bond.