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Press Release

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney And NYPD Commissioner Announce Arrest Of Narcotics Dealer Responsible For Heroin Overdose Death In A Hospital Rehabilitation Clinic

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

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of a complaint charging ANTHONY DODAJ with narcotics dealing that resulted in the heroin overdose death of a 41-year-old woman while the victim was a patient in a hospital rehabilitation clinic.

The complaint alleges that DODAJ participated in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, and that heroin distributed by DODAJ on January 1, 2016, resulted in the death of Ivy Katz in New York, New York. DODAJ was arrested this morning and presented today in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV. DODAJ faces a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated: “As alleged, Anthony Dodaj hand-delivered a fatal dose of heroin to a recovering addict inside a rehabilitation facility. Together with our partners at the NYPD, we will continue to prosecute those who prey on others’ addictions, as alleged here.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill stated: “As alleged, the defendant preyed on the vulnerable – peddling poison to those seeking help. Today, the defendant finds himself under arrest with the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison for the crimes alleged in the complaint.”

According to the complaint[1]:

From December 2016 up to January 2017, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, ANTHONY DODAJ and others conspired to sell heroin. As part of that conspiracy, on January 1, 2016, DODAJ delivered heroin to Ivy Katz, a 41-year-old recovering heroin addict. In mid-December 2016, Katz had voluntarily checked herself into an inpatient rehabilitation program for opioid dependence at a hospital located in New York, New York (the “Hospital”). On January 1, 2017, DODAJ entered the Hospital and met with Katz in the Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation ward. Approximately 30 minutes after DODAJ left the Hospital, Katz was found comatose in her room with a needle containing heroin in her arm. Katz never regained consciousness, and ultimately died on January 16, 2017.


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DODAJ, 46, of the Bronx, New York, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by a judge.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD.


This matter is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorney David W. Denton Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.


The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated March 28, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-086