Man Sentenced to Prison for Heroin and Fentanyl Trafficking Related Death of Massapequa Woman
Defendant Admitted to Causing the Victim’s Overdose
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, United States District Judge Gary R. Brown sentenced Donta Riddick to 198 months in prison for possessing and distributing heroin and fentanyl. As part of his guilty plea, Riddick also admitted to the distribution of heroin and fentanyl on September 13, 2020 that caused the death of a 21-year old woman from Massapequa, New York. Riddick pleaded guilty on January 28, 2022.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, and Patrick J. Ryder, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department, announced the sentence.
“Today’s sentencing is justice served for the trauma that the defendant directly caused to our district, including the death of his young neighbor,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office, together with our federal and local partners, works tirelessly to hold accountable those who deal deadly drugs and contribute to the opioid epidemic’s devastating impact on our communities.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said, “Drug investigations like this underscore the devastating impact that every drug overdose and poisoning has on a family. Fentanyl is the deadliest drug to ever hit our streets and responsible for nearly 70% of nationwide drug-related deaths. DEA and our law enforcement partners are doubling down on defeating drug trafficking networks and bringing to justice those responsible for taking lives.”
“The sentencing of defendant Donta Riddick to 16.5 years in prison will hopefully bring some closure for the victim’s family, as this drug dealer will not be back on the streets of Nassau County. The defendant was found guilty of dealing drugs laced with fentanyl to our residents and caused the death of a 21-year-old female victim from Massapequa. Defendant Riddick infected our neighborhoods with these illegal drugs until his arrest, conviction and sentencing and I would like extend my appreciation to the investigators and their agencies for a job well done. The Nassau County Police Department is committed to enforcing all drug related crimes and will continue to offer assistance to those addicted to drugs,” stated Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Ryder.
According to court filings and statements made by the defendant at the guilty plea proceeding, on the night of September 13, 2020, Riddick sold fentanyl-laced heroin to the victim, who suffered a fatal overdose at a motel in Massapequa the following morning. A review of the victim’s cell phone by law enforcement revealed text messages she exchanged with Riddick in which she appeared to be ordering heroin from the defendant. On September 15, 2020, during the subsequent investigation by the DEA and NCPD, Riddick was arrested in possession of street-level quantities of the same fentanyl-laced heroin that had caused the death of the victim the day before.
At Riddick’s sentencing, the victim’s aunt spoke and described the traumatic impact of losing her niece to an overdose.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles N. Rose and Samantha Alessi are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Paralegal Dejah Turla.
West Babylon, New York