Newark man charged with dealing deadly drugs

A Newark man has been charged with manslaughter, accused of dealing drugs that authorities say killed a city resident last year.

Thomas A. Kosto, 38, last known address 244 Green Meadow Drive, was indicted Thursday on charges of corrupting another with drugs, possession of drugs, tampering with evidence and involuntary manslaughter. The indictment was unsealed Monday morning after Kosto was arrested over the weekend.

Kosto is accused of giving heroin to 34-year-old Chad Baker, of Newark, on May 28 or 29, 2015. Baker overdosed on the drug and died. His official cause of death is listed as being from the overdose on heroin. Baker also had cocaine in his system.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said cases like the one against Kosto are difficult to prosecute.

"We aren't very often able to establish a chain of where the drugs came from," he said. "It doesn't happen as frequently as it should."

Baker's family described him as having a "charming personality, infectious laugh, contagious smile and a heart of gold," in his obituary.

Baker was survived by his parents and stepparents, his four children, a fiancee, two stepchildren and five siblings, as well as numerous other relatives. Baker had attended Lakewood High School and Central Ohio Technical College and was working as a plumber.

Several members of Baker's family attended Kosto's initial appearance Monday afternoon in Licking County Common Pleas Court.

Kosto entered not guilty pleas through his attorney, Robert Calesaric.

Calesaric said Kosto recently started working at a new job and had been cooperative with investigators throughout the case. Kosto only had been out of jail for a short period of time after spending some time incarcerated for possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin charges. Kosto also has previous convictions for abusing harmful intoxicants.

If convicted, Kosto faces a maximum possible sentence of more than 20 years in prison.

Magistrate Mattie Klein set Kosto's bond at $50,000 and ordered him to have no contact with Baker's family.

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