April 13, 2016
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Syracuse Man Indicted For Distributing Heroin That Killed Woman
Camillus resident was five months pregnant
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An indictment filed today charges Anthony Vita, 36, of Syracuse, New York, with distributing heroin that resulted in the death of another person.
The announcement was made by Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Division, Drug Enforcement (DEA) and United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Northern District of New York.
The indictment alleges that Vita distributed heroin on or about November 7, 2015 to the victim, described in a criminal complaint as being a 24-year-old resident of Camillus, New York, who was five months pregnant when Vita provided her heroin that led to her overdose death.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Every aspect of drug trafficking is heinous; but selling a fatal combination of heroin and fentanyl to a mother and unborn child shows how inconsequential drug traffickers view heroin use. The latest trend in opiate abuse- a toxic combination of heroin and fentanyl- is on a deadly rampage throughout the nation resulting in too many lives taken too early. This arrest highlights the sad extent a dealer will go to in order to make a profit off the sale of drugs.”
U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said: “Opioid addiction and overdose deaths have become the single greatest danger to the lives and health of our citizens. Our resolve to confront this epidemic and the criminals who supply it is unwavering and we will not hesitate to use all of the tools the law provides us with in this fight.”
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The charge filed against Vita carries a minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $1 million, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least three years and up to life. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
Vita was arrested by DEA agents assigned to the DEA Norfolk Resident Office on March 15, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The criminal complaint filed against Vita alleged that agents recovered a text message exchange between Vita and the victim on the night of her death that included arrangements for them to meet so he could sell her heroin and a hypodermic needle.
Following his arrest, Vita appeared in Federal Court in Virginia and was transported to Syracuse by the United States Marshals Service. The defendant had an initial appearance in Syracuse before United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles on April 1, 2016. Following a hearing on April 6, 2016, Judge Peebles ordered Vita detained without bail pending trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), Syracuse Resident Office, the Onondaga County Sheriff Department and the Town of Camillus Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman.