STATEN ISLAND — The NYPD arrested 15 people, including alleged gang members, who operated a heroin, fentanyl, suboxone and cocaine distribution network on Staten Island, the Richmond County District Attorney’s office said.
Stephen Cummings has been indicted on one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide. Cummings allegedly sold fentanyl to a person who overdosed and died.
It is the first time that a NYC District Attorney’s office has brought homicide-related charges against a drug dealer for a death by overdose.
The investigation of the operation around Port Richmond, New Brighton and West Brighton began in July 2016.
“These individuals helped to fuel the drug trade and contributed to gun violence that has plagued Staten Island, their actions causing nothing except pain and devastation in the midst of our hard-working communities as we battle this opioid epidemic,” District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said.
In addition to Cummings, Jermaine Duncan, Beatrice Adegbenro, Kerry Connolly, Joyce Fobbs, Jeremy Grant, Nelson Lugo, Raymond Lugo, Steven Medina, David Nieves, Paul Rainey, Allah Sears, Nelson Rivera, Anthony White and Sean Whitted were arrested on drug-related charges and arraigned on Thursday.
“Individuals associated with this network have been involved in eighteen separate shootings on Staten Island and have a combined total of nineteen gun-related arrests,” the Richmond County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Police found heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, two firearms and ammunition during the investigation.