N.Y. Duo Charged With Distributing Deadly 'Breaking Bad' Heroin
"No more half measures," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in announcing the charges against a pair of men accused of selling a deadly form of the drug, labeled with a logo similar to the one used by the TV series.
Two upstate New York men were charged with distributing a potent form of heroin stamped with a Breaking Bad logo resembling the one used by the hit TV series.
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The use of this heroin caused the overdose deaths of three people, according to a federal criminal complaint, which was unsealed Thursday morning. According to the complaint, Dennis Sica and John Rohlman of Dutchess County, N.Y., worked together to sell their "Breaking Bad heroin," at least some of which was laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid significantly stronger than street heroin.
From Dec. 28, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014, Sica and Rohlman sold the heroin to three individuals in New York and Connecticut, all of whom were found dead of acute heroin intoxication.
Sica was arrested on Feb. 2, in East Fishkill, N.Y., after the car he was riding in was stopped by law enforcement. A police officer then noticed that several glassine envelopes lying on the floor of the car had the same stamp as the one on the envelopes found in a victim's room.
"Three young people from our community are dead, the tragic victims of heroin peddled by the defendants under the label 'Breaking Bad.' Heroin and opioid abuse hurts all of our communities," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement announcing the charges. It affects everyday people, people with jobs, people with families. Although the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic may be breaking bad, we must aggressively make good on our collective obligation to stamp out this affliction. No more half measures. The lives of our children and the vitality of our communities depend on it."
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If convicted, Sica and Rohlman each face a penalty of 20 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.