6 charged in drug scheme related to Manhattan death of co-founder of Vine and HQ Trivia

NEW YORK — Six men have been accused of running a drug operation that officials believe resulted in the death of the tech executive who co-founded the Vine app.

CEO of the HQ Trivia Game, Colin Kroll. (Steven Lawton/Getty Images for Variety)

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, released an indictment Wednesday charging six men with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine in an “on-demand drug delivery service” called Mike’s Candyshop.

Colin Kroll, 34, who also co-founded the HQ Trivia app, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in December 2018. Officials said his death was an accidental overdose of a mixture of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The indictment did not name Kroll, but an official with knowledge of the case said he is “Victim-1” listed in the indictment, The New York Times reported .

His communications with members of the operation on numerous occasions, including the day before his death, is said to have led investigators to their arrest nearly 10 months later.

The members of the operation worked around the clock, in various shifts and took orders electronically from customers that had been “approved” in advance, according to the indictment.

“This illicit enterprise allegedly allowed people to order heroin and cocaine to their doorstep simply by calling the business phone number with the same convenience as if they were ordering a pizza,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said in a statement .

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in partnership with the New York Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations said this is part of a “continued commitment” to ending the influx of heroin and cocaine in New York City.

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