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Press Release

Matthew Charo Pleads Guilty To Distributing Fatal Heroin to Saratoga Springs Woman

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Defendant Will Receive a Ten-Year Prison Sentence

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Matthew P. Charo, 36, of Saratoga, New York, pled guilty yesterday to distributing a controlled substance, announced Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Vadim D. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Sentencing is scheduled for December 7, 2017 at 9:30 am before Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties have proposed that Charo should receive a sentence of 10 years imprisonment. He also faces a term of supervised release of between three years and life, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a special assessment of $100.

As part of his guilty plea today, Charo admitted that on October 2, 2014, he sold heroin to a 30-year-old woman who was his high school acquaintance. Before the sale, the victim told Charo that she had attempted all day to buy heroin without success. Charo agreed to help the victim purchase heroin, and used the victim’s food stamp EBT card to obtain the drug from another individual. Thereafter, Charo distributed it to the victim, who ingested the heroin and died due to acute heroin intoxication.

"The heroin the defendant distributed ended the life of a 30 year old woman he knew from high school. Thanks to a tireless investigation by the FBI, the New York State Police, and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, the defendant will be held accountable for his crime, but that cannot undo the devastating consequences. We will continue to bring federal charges against those who peddle this poison, to pursue just punishments and prevent future tragedies,” said Acting United States Attorney Jaquith.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office Vadim D. Thomas stated, “The success of this investigation is the direct result of our federal, state and local partnerships. While we cannot restore the victim to her family, we can continue in our commitment to eliminating the significant threat drugs pose to our community.”

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach, II stated, “I commend the dedicated teamwork of all of our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels for their efforts in bringing this individual to justice. Our members see the deadly effects of heroin on a daily basis. Heroin and other highly addictive drugs not only put lives at risk, but they destroy our communities. We will continue to be vigilant in working together with our law enforcement partners to keep these harmful narcotics off our streets and our neighborhoods safe.”

Saratoga Springs Police Department Chief Gregory Veitch stated, “Saratoga Springs, like all communities, is not immune from the tragic consequences of the opioid epidemic that law enforcement and other first responders deal with on a daily basis. While we continue to keep the victim and her family in our thoughts and prayers, we appreciate the assistance of the New York State Police, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in bringing Matthew Charo to justice for his actions.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, Albany Field Office, the New York State Police, and the Saratoga Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Hanlon.

Updated August 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking