Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini has announced the sentencing of an Amityville man to prison for selling fentanyl in connection with a fatal overdose
“Whenever there is a fatal overdose in Suffolk County, we treat it as a homicide and immediately take investigative steps to identify the drug dealer responsible,” District Attorney Sini said. “In this case, that investigation led law enforcement to Mr. Hunter. With today’s sentence, we are not just ensuring that he is held accountable and is no longer peddling deadly fentanyl in our community, but sending a message to other drug dealers that they will get caught and go to prison. I want to thank Assistant District Attorneys Danielle Davis and Nicole Felice, who did a phenomenal job prosecuting this case despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.”
Austin Hunter, a/k/a “Malik,” 43, of Amityville, was convicted by a jury on Nov. 9, 2020, of two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced today by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei to 16 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.
On April 20, 2019, Suffolk County Police officers responded to a suspected fatal overdose in Copiague. The Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was a fentanyl overdose.
An analysis of the decedent’s cell phone, which was recovered from the scene of the fatal overdose, revealed evidence that he had purchased narcotics from Hunter.
On May 2, 2019, law enforcement agents from the Long Island Heroin Task Force conducted a covert operation to purchase narcotics from Hunter. He was arrested upon his arrival at the agreed-upon location.
The case marks the first conviction in Suffolk County history for a criminal sale of a controlled substance based upon a toxicology analysis as opposed to the physical recovery of narcotics.
The trial began on Oct. 14, 2020. The jury deliberated for approximately four and one-half hours before returning a verdict of guilty. It was the first felony trial conviction in Suffolk County since jury trials were reinstated in 2020 following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
District Attorney Sini thanks the Long Island Heroin Task Force, which comprises detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department and Nassau County Police Department, for its investigation of this case and ongoing commitment to targeting drug dealers who cause overdoses in our communities.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Danielle Davis, of the Narcotics Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Felice, currently assigned to the Intake Bureau.