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Press Release

Long Island Man Sentenced to 16 Years’ Imprisonment for Distributing Heroin That Caused Death of One College Student and Non-Fatal Overdose of Another

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Earlier today, 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. 

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), announced the sentence.

“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 United States 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.

“The defendant’s drugs killed a young man who had a whole life in front of him,” stated 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.”

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 Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Christopher C. Caffarone is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age:  25
Ridge, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-52 (JS)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated February 15, 2019