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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Paterson Man Admits Distributing Heroin that Caused Death of New York Resident

NEWARK, N.J. – A Paterson, New Jersey, man today admitted possessing and distributing heroin that caused the death of a Warwick, New York, resident, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Shameik Byrd, 31, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin relating to the overdose death of a 25-year-old man, identified in court documents as Victim-1.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On April 1, 2016, Byrd sold Individual-1 and Individual-2 five glassine envelopes of heroin stamped “Trap Queen.” The next day, Byrd sold Individual-1 and Inidividual-2 approximately 13 additional glassine envelopes of heroin stamped “Trap Queen.” Immediately following each purchase, Individual-1 and Individual-2 sold the same heroin they had obtained from Byrd to Victim-1. On April 3, 2016, officers from the Warwick Police Department responded to a residence on a report of an unresponsive male, Victim-1, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement agents observed nine empty glassine envelopes stamped “Trap Queen” and eight glassine envelopes of heroin stamped “Trap Queen.” An autopsy was later conducted on Victim-1, whose cause of death was determined to be “acute heroin intoxication.”

The count of possession and distribution of heroin carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau, under the direction of Director Veronica Allende; detectives from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik; and detectives from the Warwick Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas McGovern Jr., with the  investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill, of the Office’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 22, 2021