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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 10, 2017

Heroin Trafficker Sentenced To 12 Years For Heroin Overdose Deaths

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROOSEVELT WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Mumsie,” 59, was sentenced to a term of 12 years in prison, and forfeiture of over $100,000 in drug proceeds and property, for his extensive heroin dealing in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. As set forth in WILLIAMS’s plea agreement, and the materials submitted in connection with sentencing, the distribution of that heroin resulted in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses. He was sentenced today in White Plains federal court by U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Román. On November 10, 2016, Tony Reynolds, 58, was sentenced, also by Judge Román to a term of 13 years in prison, and to forfeit $5,000 in drug proceeds, for his role in distributing heroin with WILLIAMS.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Roosevelt Williams sold what became notorious in and around Poughkeepsie as a highly potent brand of heroin. And even as overdoses from Williams’s heroin grew, he continued to sell. For his cold-hearted drug dealing that contributed to the devastation of heroin abuse in our communities, the Court has handed down a stiff sentence of 12 years in prison. We hope this prosecution gives some measure of closure and comfort for the victims’ families, and we thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and our many local law enforcement partners for their extraordinary efforts on this case.”

According to the Complaints and Information filed in White Plains federal court, as well as statements made in connection with the plea and sentencing proceedings:

Over the course of several months, WILLIAMS and Reynolds conspired to sell significant quantities of a highly potent brand of heroin, dubbed “Empire” by a stamp on each bag sold, which had a devastating impact on users in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. The Empire brand became notorious among heroin users in the area as being particularly strong and posing a high risk of overdose. Even as this reputation and the number of overdoses grew, the defendants continued to sell significant quantities of Empire heroin virtually every day.

 

From at least in or about November 2015 through December 2015, law enforcement engaged in controlled purchases of Empire heroin on five occasions. Each of these sales was made by either WILLIAMS or Reynolds. Law enforcement recovered over $100,00 in cash and two firearms from WILLIAMS’s residence.

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Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the Dutchess County Drug Task Force.

These cases are being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Burns, Maurene Comey, and Douglas Zolkind are in charge of the prosecutions.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
17-042
Updated February 10, 2017