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Press Release

Queens Man Indicted for Distributing Fentanyl from His Residence in Queens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Fentanyl Sold by Defendant Linked to Two Fatal Overdoses; a Third Victim Revived with Narcan

A two-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn, charging David Wickham with conspiring to distribute and distributing more than 40 grams of fentanyl in Queens, New York.  The defendant was arrested earlier today and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon. 

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York, and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.

“As alleged in court filings, David Wickham sold fentanyl, a powerful opioid with potentially lethal consequences, which he represented to buyers on numerous occasions to be heroin,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to prosecute those who contribute to the opioid epidemic plaguing the communities in our District, and to save lives by reducing the availability of the deadly drug.” 

“Fentanyl is a killer, and drug pushers have been taking advantage of selling this highly addictive drug, preying on the vulnerabilities of people,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez. “Combatting the smuggling and trafficking of fentanyl and opioids is a priority for HSI, and we are committed to work alongside our law enforcement partners to address this problem.”

According to court documents, between August and December 2017, the defendant sold almost 100 grams of fentanyl to an undercover officer.  On several occasions, Wickham represented the narcotics to be heroin—a much less potent narcotic—when it was actually distributing fentanyl.  Also according to court documents, the fentanyl sold by Wickham is linked to two fatal overdoses and one near-fatal overdose based on phone records and a witness’ statements.  During the execution of Wickham’s arrest and the search of his residence and vehicle, pursuant to a search warrant, agents recovered a firearm from under the defendant’s bed, as well as suspected narcotics and drug paraphernalia, including a scale, baggies and hypodermic needles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Justice, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.  The increase in overdose deaths has been driven in large part by fentanyl—a drug that has been described as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.  In New York, from 2014 to 2015, fentanyl overdose deaths rose 135 percent, while heroin overdose deaths rose 28 percent.  According to the CDC’s latest report analyzing overdose deaths nationally, in 2016 synthetic opioid deaths—which includes fentanyl—more than doubled from 9,580 in 2015 to 19,413 in 2016.   

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and up to 40 years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Nomi D. Berenson is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

DAVID WICKHAM (also known as “Wick” and “Dogg”)
Age: 35
Queens, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-72 (ARR)

Contact

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

Updated February 27, 2018

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Topic
Opioids