Former NYPD officer sentenced to prison for selling fentanyl, causing 2019 fatal overdose

Long Island

NEW YORK — A former NYPD officer was sentenced to prison Monday for selling drugs that caused a fatal overdose in 2019, officials said.

Joseph Recca, 28, was sentenced to five years in prison with two years of post-release supervision, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office announced.

“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is aggressively investigating and prosecuting drug dealers, particularly those who are causing overdoses, and Joseph Recca is the latest example,” District Attorney Timothy Sini said. “Today, my Office and the Court held him responsible for the death he caused. What makes his case unique and particularly troubling is the fact that he was selling drugs while also serving as a police officer. We will not tolerate drug dealers peddling poison in our communities, and our message today is that no one is above the law.”

Recca pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to charges including manslaughter, criminal sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy.

Recca had been an NYPD officer since 2017 and resigned from the department following his arrest in July 2020.

The investigation dated back to Sept. 3, 2019. Members of Suffolk County Police Department responded to the scene of a fatal overdose in Copiague.

An investigation revealed evidence that Recc 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.

When Recca was arrested, he was found in possession of about 100 pressed fentanyl pills marketed as Oxycodone. More than $10,000 in cash was also found in his home. 

The prosecutions against Recca’s two alleged co-conspirators are still pending. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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