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Overdose can escalate drug charges

| Sep 22, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

In New York, a drug dealer was arrested by Saratoga Springs authorities for selling fentanyl after one of his customers died of an overdose of the potent drug. The customer was acquainted with the dealer and ingested some amount of the drug at the dealer’s house only to go home later and ingest more before finally overdosing.

According to court records, the defendant’s roommate was also present at the time and even helped the dealer keep the overdosing victim from passing out completely while at the dealer’s home. The dealer’s roommate, who assisted in keeping the victim coherent, actually died before the case could get to trial. The roommate’s cause of death was an overdose as well.

The overdose resulting in the criminal charge occurred in November of 2017. Still, the case was not finalized until November of 2019 when the defendant pleaded guilty in federal district court in New York. He also had two firearms in his possession, which enhanced his criminal charges. The arrest occurred about a week after the customer’s death, where officers found over 350 envelopes of supposed fentanyl in the defendant’s possession after executing a search warrant.

While the defendant was not charged with manslaughter, a prison sentence of 20 years was agreed upon based on the firearms charges in connection with the drug charges and a statement of what transpired, leading to the death. The federal judge also imposed a three-year controlled supervision period following any subsequent release.

In this case, the defendant could have received an even harsher sentence, had the decision been left up to a jury. New York drug crimes attorneys may assess when the government has a solid case with overwhelming evidence and make recommendations for their clients. Brokering a reasonable plea agreement might be the most favorable result when this nature is brought to court.