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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Alleged Drug Dealer Charged With Overdose Death In Manhattan

Geoffrey S. Berman, the 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 arrest of DANIEL JONES and the unsealing of a Complaint charging him with distributing the heroin that resulted in the death of Robert Martin Hill in Manhattan.  The Complaint also alleges that JONES conspired with others to distribute heroin between November 2017 and March 2018 in Manhattan, and that JONES distributed heroin on March 1 and March 6, 2018.  JONES was arrested yesterday afternoon by the NYPD, and was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron in Manhattan federal court. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Daniel Jones peddled potentially lethal heroin in the East Village of Manhattan, and a dose he sold to Robert Martin Hill resulted in Hill’s death.  Working with the NYPD we will continue to combat the epidemic of lethal opioids.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint[1]:

On November 18, 2017, Robert Martin Hill, a 54-year-old resident of Manhattan, overdosed in his apartment.  The NYPD began investigating Mr. Hill’s death.  An autopsy conducted following Mr. Hill’s death revealed that he died from a lethal dose of opioids.  Four glassine bags were recovered from Mr. Hill’s pants pocket, which had the word “Gorilla” and a picture of a gorilla stamped in black ink.  The residue in the glassine bags tested positive for heroin.  The NYPD also obtained Mr. Hill’s cellphone.

As detailed in the Complaint, the NYPD was able to trace the last completed call that Mr. Hill made before he overdosed on November 18, 2017, to a cellphone used by JONES.  The NYPD learned that JONES was the superintendent of the building where Mr. Hill resided, and that JONES continued to sell heroin near that building in the East Village.  In March 2018, the NYPD made undercover buys of heroin from JONES on two occasions.  During the second undercover buy, JONES stated that he sold heroin to Mr. Hill, that he knew Mr. Hill recently died, and that he sold Mr. Hill heroin that was packaged in glassines with a gorilla stamp.

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JONES, 53, of Manhattan, was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, and with conspiring to distribute heroin.  JONES faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison based upon his distribution of the heroin that killed Mr. Hill.

The statutory maximum and minimum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for information purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD in this case. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael K. Krouse is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are 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.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 18, 2018