Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

December 14, 2017

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

Second Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 97 Months’ Imprisonment For Distributing Fentanyl In Which A Young Mother Died After Ingesting

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Johnnie Monroe, also known as “Nut,” was sentenced by United States District Judge Brian M. Cogan to 97 months’ imprisonment for conspiring to distribute fentanyl, to be followed by a term of four years’ supervised release. The fentanyl the defendant distributed was linked to the overdose death of a young mother in West Virginia in April 2015. Judge Cogan also ordered forfeiture in the amount of $150,000.

Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York (DEA), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police (NYPD), announced the sentence.

“The death of a woman in West Virginia after ingesting fentanyl pills distributed by defendant Johnnie Monroe did not deter him from shortly thereafter shipping another package of pills containing fentanyl to West Virginia,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “Today’s sentence holds Monroe accountable for contributing to the deadly opioid epidemic facing this country. This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to identify and prosecute those who contribute to and would seek to profit from this epidemic. Through these efforts, lives will be saved by reducing the availability of opioids and preventing new addictions.”

“There are no words to express our sorrow for lives lost as a result of drug overdose; but DEA strives to bring justice to the victims’ families by identifying those responsible for distributing the poison,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Hunt. “Heroin and fentanyl are poison and have been the cause of record breaking numbers of overdoses throughout the U.S. This sentencing is a reminder that DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate opioid trafficking organizations and put them in jail.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Justice, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Between 2012 and 2015, fentanyl overdose deaths in West Virginia increased by more than 20 percent, according to the DEA. The recent rise in overdose deaths has been driven in large part by fentanyl-a drug that has been described as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Opioids have been a particular problem in West Virginia, where the defendant and his co-conspirators trafficked substantial amounts of fentanyl. One of the victims of these trends was a young mother, who Monroe and his co-conspirators believed they killed with their fentanyl pills. Upon learning of the young mother’s death, Monroe was intercepted over a judicially authorized wiretap stating, “The girl went out.” When a co-conspirator asked Monroe what he meant by “went out,” Monroe left no ambiguity that a young woman had overdosed: “Went out! OD, OD!” Nonetheless, two weeks later, Monroe mailed another package containing hundreds of pills containing fentanyl to a co-conspirator in West Virginia.

According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, the defendant traveled to West Virginia to sell fentanyl, and, in addition, supplied a significant amount of the crack cocaine that was sold by street-level dealers in the Queensbridge community. The defendant himself sold crack on 20 separate occasions in deals monitored by the NYPD. The defendant also agreed to commit an armed robbery of an individual believed to be traveling with $110,000, and went to a bus station in Manhattan to look for the individual. The failed robbery plot was not for a lack of effort-the targeted victim never arrived. The next day, Monroe was intercepted over a wiretap bragging to a co-conspirator that they were in position, armed and ready to commit the robbery: “We had biscuits [i.e., firearms], stun guns . . . we would a taken him down.”

On December 5, 2017, co-defendant Edward Carrillo was sentenced to 126 months’ imprisonment for the same charge of conspiring to distribute fentanyl. For conspiring to distribute crack-cocaine in Queensbridge, co-defendant Terrell Carmichael was sentenced on November 16, 2017 to 51 months’ imprisonment and co-defendant Kyle Williams was sentenced on December 12, 2017 to 42 months’ imprisonment. Three additional co-defendants are awaiting sentencing.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrey Spektor and Lindsay K. Gerdes are in charge of the prosecution.

Defendant Sentenced Today: -
JOHNNIE MONROE, also known as “Nut”
Age: 46
Brooklyn, New York

Defendants Previously Sentenced: -
TERRELL CARMICHAEL, also known as “Rell”
Age: 31
Long Island City, New York
EDWARD CARRILLO, also known as “Super Ed”
Age: 43
Manhattan, New York
KYLE WILLIAMS, also known as “Sleepy”
Age: 31
Long Island City, New York

Defendants Awaiting Sentencing - :
LASHAWN BALANCE, also known as “Flip”
Age: 41
Princeton, West Virginia
Age: 29
Bronx, New York
MICHAEL YOUNG, also known as “Littles”
Age: 32
Long Island City, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-(BMC)

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