Ronkonkoma man charged with fentanyl pill conspiracy | USAO-EDNY

An indictment was released today in Central Islip Federal Court charging Fernando Cooper, also known as ‘Pablo’, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in Suffolk County more than 40 grams of fentanyl, contained in counterfeit opioid pills. Cooper, who was already in police custody on fentanyl charges in the state, is expected to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Deputy Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Rodney K. Harrison, Commissioner, New York City Police Department Suffolk County (SCPD) and Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced the indictment and charges.

“As alleged, Cooper manipulatively sold and marketed counterfeit opioid pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous narcotic responsible for numerous deaths in Suffolk County,” the U.S. Peace Attorney said. “Opioid addiction and fatal drug overdoses remain a significant threat to our communities and this office works closely with our law enforcement partners to protect the public by prosecuting fentanyl traffickers who ruthlessly cover up this deadly drugs in counterfeit pills that could easily kill unsuspecting users.

“Drug traffickers sell products regardless of the dangerous substances they contain, placing financial gain on human life,” FBI Deputy Director Driscoll said. “We allege Cooper sold pills he knew were mixed with fentanyl, which is responsible for the spike in overdose deaths here and across the country. These dealers will be held responsible for the carnage they leave behind.

“The illicit sale and distribution of fentanyl has claimed the lives of countless people in our region and the unveiling of this indictment should strike fear into the hearts of anyone considering purchasing opioids in any form. either on the black market,” said SCPD Commissioner Harrison. “I am proud of the men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department and our partner agencies for their tireless work on this case. We will continue to take aggressive action to hold dangerous drug traffickers, like this individual who sold counterfeit opioid pills, accountable as we work to combat this persistent scourge in our communities.

“This defendant allegedly sold deadly counterfeit opioid pills to unsuspecting users,” Suffolk County Prosecutor Tierney said. “Thanks to our partnership with all of our law enforcement agencies, this individual is no longer selling this poison to our residents. I want to give special thanks to the United States Attorney for the Peace for leading the prosecution of these important cases. »

As alleged in the indictment and court documents, between December 2021 and July 2022, Cooper sold and possessed with intent to sell over 500 counterfeit opioid pills containing approximately 56 grams of fentanyl, but which were designed to look like Percocet and 30 milligrams of oxycodone. pills, which are in high demand by opioid addicts. In July 2022, Cooper sold approximately 223 counterfeit opioid pills, containing approximately 28 grams of oxycodone to another person in Bohemia, New York, and days after that sale Cooper was found in possession of 119 opioid pills. counterfeit opioids containing approximately 14 grams of fentanyl, which were recovered after fleeing police following a traffic stop and hiding in a Central Islip backyard. Execution of a search warrant on cell phones seized from Cooper revealed he was a member of the Hit Squad street gang and worked with others to sell and possess with intent to sell fentanyl contained in counterfeit or “pressed” opioid pills in Suffolk County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Justice, in 2019 nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it one of the leading causes of drug-related deaths. to injuries in the United States. The increase in overdose deaths is largely due to fentanyl, a drug described as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. In 2019, more than 14,000 people died in the United States from drug overdoses involving heroin. From 2013 to 2019, the death rate from synthetic opioids increased by more than 1,000%. Of these deaths, more than 70% involved prescription or illicit opioids. Among New York State residents, the number of overdose deaths involving any opioid increased each year between 2010 and 2017, with an overall increase of 200.2%, from 1,074 in 2010 to 3 224 in 2017, according to the New York State Department of Health.

If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or go to Findtreatment. gov.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, Cooper faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and up to 40 years in prison.

The government’s case is being handled by the Bureau’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Bradley T. King is in charge of the prosecution.

The defendant:

FERNANDO COOPER (also known as “Pablo”)
Age: 21 years old
Ronkonkoma, New York

EDNY File No. 22-CR-466 (JMA)

Elna M. Lemons