Former NYPD officer pleads guilty to selling fentanyl, causing fatal overdose

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SUFFOLK COUNTY, L.I. — A former NYPD officer plead guilty Friday to manslaughter and other charges for selling fentanyl, causing a fatal overdose in 2019, the Suffolk County DA’s office said.

The investigation dates back to Sept. 3, 2019. Members of Suffolk County PD responded to the scene of a fatal overdose in Copiague. An investigation revealed evidence that Officer Joseph Recca, a 28-year-old and then 2-year NYPD veteran, had sold the victim fentanyl pills. An analysis of Recca’s cell phone placed him in proximity to the victim at the time of the final sale prior to the victim’s death.

A further investigation conducted by the county and the NYPD’s internal affairs — which included surveillance and court-authorized eavesdropping — revealed that Recca was part of a conspiracy with two others to sell drugs. Recca used NYPD resources to run license plate numbers of vehicles he believed were following his operation.

Recca was arrested July 21, 2020. He was found in possession of around 100 pressed fentanyl pills marketed as oxycodone, as well as $10,000 in cash recovered via a search warrant. On Friday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy charges. He resigned from the NYPD after his arrest.

“For a police officer to be selling fentanyl — a drug we are acutely aware can be fatal — he is not just breaking the law he is sworn to uphold, but knowingly gambling with people’s lives,” District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said. “This goes beyond criminality; it was irresponsible and morally corrupt.”

Recca’s two co-conspirators — 25-year-old Mike Sosa of Brentwood and 54-year-old Michael Corbett of West Islip — are still pending, with court dates in March and May, respectively.

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