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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Father And Son Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Selling Fentanyl And Oxycodone On The Dark Web

The Defendants Also Distributed Fentanyl That Substantially Contributed to a Non-Fatal Overdose in 2015

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL LUCIANO and PHILIP LUCIANO, a father and son, were sentenced today to five years in prison for selling fentanyl and oxycodone over the “dark web,” including on the dark web marketplace AlphaBay.  The LUCIANOS also sold fentanyl that substantially contributed to a victim’s non-fatal overdose in 2015.  Today’s sentences were imposed by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “The defendants’ dangerous fentanyl distribution contributed to a victim’s overdose.  Fortunately, the victim survived.  After this overdose, the defendants continued to deal drugs, using the dark web – a place where some criminals think they can hide – to sell fentanyl and oxycodone, two highly addictive and potentially lethal opioids.  For their criminal conduct, this father-son duo has now been sentenced to federal prison.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint and the Indictment to which the LUCIANOS pled guilty, as well as statements made in court:

From at least in or about January 2015 through July 2017, MICHAEL LUCIANO and PHILIP LUCIANO conspired to distribute fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl (a fentanyl analogue), and oxycodone.  They sold narcotics both in person and – from at least February 2016 through July 2017 – over the dark web.  In March 2015, the LUCIANOS sold fentanyl to a repeat customer who overdosed, was administered naloxone, taken to the hospital, and survived.  The overdose victim sent text messages to PHILIP LUCIANO from the hospital, stating, “I called you / Your dad at the house and saw him / I got back home and shot some. I thought it might have been too much, especially considering my last dose of sub was Saturday. I became unresponsive and my friend called an ambulance. They gave me narcan and I’m at the hospital now / Can I settle up and get 60 more tomorrow?”  PHILIP LUCIANO replied, “Give me a call when u can.” 

Despite this overdose in 2015, the LUCIANOS continued to sell drugs, including over the dark web in 2016 and 2017.  On AlphaBay, they sold narcotics using the vendor name “Zane61.”  AlphaBay customers repeatedly provided positive feedback for fentanyl and oxycodone they purchased from Zane61.  One of the LUCIANOS’ AlphaBay customers wrote, for example:  “Great stealth, fast shipping, legit product. Perfect 10/10.”  In July 2017, MICHAEL LUCIANO gave a confession to agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”).  He admitted, among other things, that PHILIP LUCIANO had handled the technological aspects of their drug transactions over the dark web, PHILIP had reported to MICHAEL drug orders they had received online, and MICHAEL had shipped the narcotics, via the United States Postal Service, to the LUCIANOS’ customers.

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In addition to their prison terms, MICHAEL LUCIANO, 59, and PHILIP LUCIANO, 30, both of Staten Island, were each sentenced to four years of supervised release and forfeiture money judgments of $15,953 along with certain property, such as more than 2.5 Bitcoin.

Mr. Berman praised HSI for its outstanding investigative work.  Mr. Berman also thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the New York City Police Department for their valuable assistance.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Neff is in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
18-414
Updated November 27, 2018