February 16, 2019
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Long Island man sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment for distributing heroin leading to overdoses among college students, one fatal
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Earlier yesterday, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Richard Jacobellis was sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert to an agreed upon 16 years of imprisonment, to be followed by three years’ supervised release, for distributing heroin. When Jacobellis pleaded guilty in June 2018, he admitted that heroin he distributed caused the death of 20-year-old Nicholas Weber in 2016 and serious bodily injury to another in 2015.
Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge, U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration New York Division, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue announced the sentence.
"The defendant's drugs killed a young man who had a whole life in front of him," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan. "We cannot console the Weber family enough, but we can continue to investigate and arrest drug traffickers like Jacobellis."
“With today’s sentence, Jacobellis will serve a significant jail term for callously pushing deadly heroin that resulted in the death of one young man and nearly killed another, but for the heroic efforts of Suffolk County Police Officers,” stated U.S. Attorney Donoghue. “We hope the victims’ families can find some solace in this result and in the knowledge that this Office will continue working tirelessly to hold accountable those who contribute to the opioid epidemic on Long Island and elsewhere in the district.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the Suffolk County Police Department for its assistance on the case.
Jacobellis, a narcotics dealer since 2012, sold heroin to an individual on or about March 8, 2015. The individual, then 18 years old, used the heroin and overdosed. Suffolk County Police Officers administered Narcan to the individual, who later recovered from a coma. On May 16, 2016, Jacobellis sold $100 worth of heroin to Weber, then 20 years old, causing his death. Weber was a graduate of Kings Park High School, where he was a champion wrestler in his weight class and, at the time of his death, was a student at Suffolk County Community College.
The government’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Caffarone is in charge of the prosecution.
The investigation was conducted by members of Group D-12 of the DEA’s Long Island Division Office. Group D-12 is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the Hempstead Police Department.
Ridge, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-52 (JS)