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Press Release

Staten Island Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking and the Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl Causing Death and Serious Injury

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Distributed Heroin and Fentanyl Causing the Death of a Staten Island Man and a Separate Overdose of a Staten Island Woman

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Keith Wyche was sentenced by United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry to 40 years in prison for distribution of heroin and fentanyl causing the death of a Staten Island man, distribution of heroin causing the overdose of a Staten Island woman, conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and distribution of heroin and fentanyl. Wyche and co-defendant Oneil Allen were convicted by a federal jury in February 2023 following a three-week trial.  Allen was previously sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James E. Dennehy, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Newark Field Office (FBI), and Edward A. Caban, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.

“Both defendants have been punished with very long jail sentences for pushing drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, which tragically claimed the life of one victim and nearly killed another member of our Staten Island community,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “I commend the outstanding work of the NYPD and the FBI in determining who was responsible for trafficking these drugs and holding them accountable for the pain, death and harm they caused.”

“Addiction is an unbelievably insidious and grotesque demon. Drugs envelop and take over people's lives, and the criminals who supply them use the disease to cash in on everyone else's pain. Both Wyche and Allen have now been served justice for the injustice they inflicted on their victims,” stated FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Dennehy.

“Today’s sentencing marks a victory in the NYPD’s battle against illicit drug trafficking and serves as a reminder of our unwavering commitment to hold accountable anyone who puts monetary gain above the lives of New Yorkers,” stated NYPD Commissioner Caban. “We vow to keep pursuing those who peddle illegal drugs in our neighborhoods, and we commend all of our law enforcement partners for their continuing efforts to help stem the opioid crisis.”

Between February 2017 and September 2018, the defendants operated a drug delivery service in Staten Island selling heroin and fentanyl and preying upon those suffering from narcotics addiction.  Each day, Wyche and Allen sent out a mass text message advertising that they were open for business. After receiving orders from their customers, the defendants would drive to a preselected location and hand deliver drugs.  The defendants would then return to a New Jersey apartment where they packaged the narcotics.

On April 18, 2017, a 43-year-old Staten Island man (John Doe) was found dead in his bathroom by his father.  When NYPD detectives responded, they found a syringe containing fentanyl on the floor near the deceased victim’s body along with glassines containing fentanyl.  The detectives reviewed the victim’s phone and found recent text messages between him and a person named “Marco 5” who was later revealed to be Wyche.

On October 27, 2017, a then-28-year-old Staten Island woman (Jane Doe) purchased heroin from the defendants, ingested it, and promptly suffered an overdose.  First responders saved her life by quickly administering Narcan and transporting her to the hospital.  A review of text messages in Jane Doe’s phone showed messages similar to those found in John Doe’s phone.  Jane Doe testified at trial that she frequently purchased heroin from the defendants and later assisted law enforcement in gathering additional evidence against them.

The case is being handled by the Organized Crime and Gangs Section and the General Crimes Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Irisa Chen and Gilbert Rein are in charge of the prosecution with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Teri Carby.  Assistant United States Attorney Claire S. Kedeshian of the Office’s Asset Recovery Section is handling forfeiture matters.

The Defendants:

Age:  38
Staten Island
, New York

Age:  31
Staten Island
, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-561 (S-1) (DLI)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass                            
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated June 18, 2024

Drug Trafficking