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Press Release

Saratoga Springs Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Heroin Overdose Death

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

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Matthew P. Charo, age 36, of Saratoga Springs, New York, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for distributing heroin to a 30-year-old woman who died from taking it. 


The announcement was made by 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).


Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith stated: “Today’s sentence holds Matthew Charo accountable for causing the death of a young woman who was struggling to overcome her addiction.  Though his decade of imprisonment cannot undo the harm to the victim and her family, who will continue to endure the unimaginable loss of their daughter, vigorous enforcement is a key component of prevention. Heroin kills, and dealing heroin is a deadly choice that can subject the dealer of even a small amount to severe consequences if a customer dies from taking heroin.  As part of our multi-pronged approach to the opioid crisis, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold drug dealers accountable for fatal overdoses.”


FBI Special Agent in Charge Vadim D. Thomas stated: “Today’s sentencing is the culmination of many long hours and dedicated work, but the effort to make our communities safer continues. The FBI is committed to investigating those like Mr. Charo, who endanger our families and our communities with drugs.”


As part of his guilty plea on August 14, 2017, Charo admitted that on October 2, 2014, he sold heroin to a 30-year-old woman who was his acquaintance from high school. Before the sale, the victim told Charo that she had tried all day to buy heroin without success.  Charo agreed to help the victim buy heroin, and used the victim’s food stamp EBT card to buy heroin from another individual, which he then distributed to the victim. She ingested the heroin and died due to acute heroin intoxication.


New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II stated: “I want to thank our law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local level for bringing this man to justice. Drugs such as heroin destroy our communities and put lives at risk. This sentencing sends a clear message that we will not tolerate the illegal drug activity and the deadly consequences that are associated with such activity. We will remain vigilant in pursuing and prosecuting criminals who threaten the safety of our neighborhoods through the distribution of these illegal and harmful narcotics.”


Saratoga Springs Police Department Chief Gregory Veitch stated: “As this investigation has clearly demonstrated, drug dealing is not a victimless crime.  No prison sentence will ever bring this victim back to life or alleviate the suffering of her loved ones.  The Saratoga Springs Police Department remains committed to working with our state and federal partners in law enforcement in this never-ending battle against those who choose prey on our community.”


As part of the sentence, Senior United States Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. also imposed a 3-year term of supervised release, to begin following Charo’s release from prison.


This case was investigated by the FBI, the New York State Police, and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Hanlon.


Updated December 7, 2017

Drug Trafficking