Saratoga County drug dealer pleads guilty to overdose death
Agrees to 20-year term of imprisonment
ALBANY, N.Y. – Steven M. Boice, 30, pled guilty today to distributing furanyl fentanyl that caused an overdose death in Saratoga County in February 2017, and further admitted to possessing two firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities. He agreed to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, DEA New York Division Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan and Saratoga Springs Police Department Chief Shane Crooks.
“Steven Boice showed total disregard for the lives of others,” said U.S. Attorney Jaquith. “In selling furanyl fentanyl – a new, synthetic opioid many times more powerful than heroin and even fentanyl – he risked the lives of many, and caused the death of a young man whose family grieves every day. Boice also sold drugs while armed with a loaded rifle and loaded shotgun, demonstrating that he was prepared to use deadly force to safeguard his sale of deadly drugs. I commend law enforcement for acting quickly to investigate and arrest Boice, which undoubtedly saved lives.”
“This investigation made it evidently clear that no town is immune from the deadly consequences of fentanyl,” said Special Agent in Charge Donovan. “In order to save lives, law enforcement continues to warn the public about fentanyl’s potency and traffickers mixing fentanyl with more illicit drugs for sale like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. I applaud the diligent work of the men and women at the DEA Albany District Office, Saratoga Springs Police Department, New York State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.”
“I commend our investigators for working with their federal and state counterparts to arrest Steven Boice within a month of his moving to Saratoga Springs,” said Chief Crooks. “Boice was a scourge on our community, and by stopping him we prevented further tragedy. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the young man who died.”
Boice admitted that he sold controlled substances, including furanyl fentanyl, from his residence in Saratoga Springs. Early on Feb. 3, 2017, he sold approximately 50 small envelopes, each containing furanyl fentanyl, to B.L., a Saratoga County man who overdosed and died that same day. Boice admitted that B.L. would not have died had B.L. not used the furanyl fentanyl that Boice had sold to him. Furanyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue that the DEA Administrator listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, on an expedited basis, in November 2016.
On Feb. 10, 2017, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Boice’s residence in downtown Saratoga Springs, and found furanyl fentanyl packaged for sale and two firearms. Boice admitted to possessing a total of 363 green-colored envelopes containing furanyl fentanyl.
He also admitted to possessing two firearms to protect his drugs and drug proceeds. When law enforcement entered his house on Feb. 10, 2017, Boice had a loaded Mossberg Maverick shotgun, leaning against a wall of his bedroom and directly next to the door, and a loaded DPMS Panther Arms .223-5.56 mm semi-automatic rifle, under his bed.
In his plea agreement, Boice agreed to be sentenced to 240 months, or 20 years, in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe will decide whether to accept or reject the recommended sentence on or before the March 25, 2020, sentencing date. If Judge Sharpe does not agree with a 20-year sentence, Boice would be allowed to withdraw his plea and the case would proceed to trial. Boice has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 10, 2017.
This case was investigated by the DEA and its Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Saratoga Springs Police Department and the New York State Police. The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.
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