Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

February 10, 2017

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

Heroin Trafficker Sentenced To 12 Years For Heroin Overdose Deaths

MANHATTAN, N.Y. -   - Roosevelt Williams, aka “Mumsie,” 59, was sentenced to a term of 12 years in prison, and forfeiture of over $100,000 in drug proceeds and property, for his extensive heroin dealing in and around Poughkeepsie, New York.  As set forth in Williams’s plea agreement, and the materials submitted in connection with sentencing, the distribution of that heroin resulted in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses.  U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Román issued the sentence today in a White Plains, New York federal court.  Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the sentence.

“Roosevelt Williams sold what became notorious in and around Poughkeepsie as a highly potent brand of heroin,” Bharara stated.  “Even as overdoses from Williams’s heroin grew, he continued to sell.  For his cold-hearted drug dealing that contributed to the devastation of heroin abuse in our communities, the court has handed down a stiff sentence of 12 years in prison.  We hope this prosecution gives some measure of closure and comfort for the victims’ families, and we thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and our many local law enforcement partners for their extraordinary efforts on this case.”

Judge Román sentenced Williams’ confederate, Tony Reynolds, 58, on November 10, 2016 to a term of 13 years in prison, and to forfeit $5,000 in drug proceeds for his role in distributing heroin with Williams.  

According to the complaints and information filed in White Plains federal court, as well as statements made in connection with the plea and sentencing proceedings:

Over the course of several months, Williams and Reynolds conspired to sell significant quantities of a highly potent brand of heroin, dubbed “Empire” by a stamp on each bag sold, which had a devastating impact on users in and around Poughkeepsie.  The Empire brand became notorious among heroin users in the area as being particularly strong and posing a high risk of overdose.  Even as this reputation and the number of overdoses grew, the defendants continued to sell significant quantities of Empire heroin virtually every day.

From at least in or about November 2015 through December 2015, law enforcement engaged in controlled purchases of Empire heroin on five occasions.  Each of these sales was made by either Williams or Reynolds.  Law enforcement recovered over $100,000 in cash and two firearms from Williams’s residence.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Dutchess County Drug Task Force and the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squads in New York City and Westchester consisting of agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department, New York State Police, New York City Department of Investigation, Westchester County Police Department, Orangetown Police Department, Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, Yonkers Police Department, New Windsor Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Health and Human Services. 

These cases are being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Burns, Maurene Comey, and Douglas Zolkind are in charge of the prosecutions.

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