July 10, 2018
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Drug dealer sentenced to serve 120 months in prison for distributing narcotics causing overdose
Referred to overdose as “Fentanyl Dance”
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT DIAZ, a/k/a “Facey,” a/k/a “Face,” was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan to 120 months in prison for distributing heroin and other narcotics, including heroin that caused serious bodily injury to a victim who overdosed from using the heroin and was revived only after the administration of naloxone. DIAZ pled guilty on February 14, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “For years, Robert Diaz peddled heroin and other drugs in and around Rockland County, contributing to the opioid crisis plaguing our community today and causing at least one victim to overdose. Today’s sentence should serve as a message to those seeking to profit off of this tragic epidemic.”
According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, previous court filings, and statements made at public court proceedings: DIAZ and eight co-defendants – Rene Sanchez, a/k/a “Renny,” Pablo Perez, a/k/a “Menor,” Christian Cardenas, a/k/a “Chris,” a/k/a “Spoonie,” David Almonte, a/k/a “Elli,” Ronald Bolanos, a/k/a “Ronny,” a/k/a “ET,” Rolando Paulino, a/k/a “Santana Paulino,” Theresa Keefe, a/k/a “Terry,” and Nicole Munderville, a/k/a “Nicki” – were charged with participating in a drug trafficking organization that distributed significant quantities of narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine, in and around Rockland County, New York, and obtained those narcotics for resale from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, New York.
DIAZ sold retail quantities of drugs to users in Rockland County during the period from approximately 2012 to approximately May 2017. On or about December 15, 2016, DIAZ provided heroin to an individual (“Victim-1”) who overdosed after using the heroin. Medical personnel were required to administer naloxone to reverse the effects of the overdose, saving Victim-1’s life.
On multiple occasions during the course of the conspiracy, DIAZ indicated that he was well aware that the narcotics he and others were distributing contained fentanyl, were particularly dangerous, and had caused adverse reactions in multiple drug customers, including the overdose of Victim-1. DIAZ nevertheless continued obtaining and selling heroin, expressing on one occasion, subsequent to Victim-1’s overdose, that his customers were doing the “fentanyl dance” and that he had a “new connect” for “straight up fentanyl” that his customers “love[d].”
In addition to his prison sentence, DIAZ, 50, was sentenced to four years of supervised release.
Pablo Perez, Ronald Bolanos, and Theresa Keefe previously pled guilty and were sentenced to 90 months, 80 months, and 40 months in prison, respectively. Rene Sanchez, Christian Cardenas, Rolando Paulino, and Nicole Munderville previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Westchester Resident Office and the Rockland County Drug Task Force, and thanked the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.
This matter is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Hanft, Jane Kim, and Jason Richman are in charge of the prosecution.