Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

March 28, 2017

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Anthony Vita Pleads Guilty To Distributing Fatal Fentanyl-Laced Heroin To Pregnant Woman

Defendant Will Receive a Fifteen-Year Prison Sentence

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -   - Anthony Vita, 37, of Syracuse, New York, pled guilty today to distributing a controlled substance, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA). 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 31, 2017 at 11:00 am before Senior United States District Judge Norman A. Mordue.  According to the terms of the plea agreement, Vita will be sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.  He also faces a term of supervised release of between three years and life, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a special assessment of $100.

As part of his guilty plea today, Vita admitted that on November 7, 2015, he sold seven bags of heroin laced with fentanyl to a 24-year-old woman who was five months pregnant.  Before the sale, the victim told Vita that she had not used heroin in five months and asked him to provide her with a syringe.  As requested, he delivered a syringe and seven bags of the heroin/fentanyl mixture.  She injected the mixture and died due to acute opiate intoxication. 

“Today the defendant accepted responsibility for killing a young woman by selling her heroin laced with fentanyl.  Thanks to the collaborative investigation by local police, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department and the DEA, the defendant is being held accountable, but the victim’s family continues to endure their unimaginable loss of a 24-year-old woman who was five months pregnant and struggling to overcome her addiction.  We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to hold drug dealers accountable for fatal overdoses,” said United States Attorney Hartunian.

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “There is no happy ending to this investigation, but justice has been served.  DEA and our law enforcement partners used every resource to identify, track, and arrest the defendant, who has pled guilty and will spend the next fifteen years behind bars.” 

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), Syracuse Resident (with Assistance from DEA Norfolk, Virginia Resident Office), the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department and the Town of (New York) Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carla Freedman and Tamara Thomson.

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