July 28, 2016
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Murderer Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 34 Years In Prison
NEW YORK - Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), announced the sentencing yesterday of James Smith, a/k/a “Heavy D,” to 34 years in prison in connection with the 2011 murder of Danny Ulerio (“Lora”) during an attempted drug robbery.
Smith was arrested for the Lora murder on November 22, 2013, via a federal writ from FCI Fairton, where he was serving a sentence on an unrelated federal Hobbs Act robbery charge. On December 14, 2015, Smith waived indictment and pleaded guilty before the Honorable Richard M. Berman to a three-count Superseding Information charging him with: (1) conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, (2) conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine, (3) the February 16, 2011, murder of Lora in Newark, New Jersey, by the discharge of a firearm.
Smith and his co-conspirators carried out the brutal murder of Lora during the course of a botched attempt to steal kilogram-quantities of cocaine from Lora.
On July 27, 2016, Smith appeared before Judge Berman, and was sentenced principally to 34 years in prison in connection with the aforementioned charges.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’S New York Drug Enforcement Task Fore REDRUM Unit comprising agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department and the New York State Police. .
The Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit is overseeing the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justina L. Geraci is in charge of the prosecution.