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Press Release

Medical Doctor Pleads Guilty To Selling Fentanyl That Resulted In Manhattan Man’s Overdose Death

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, announced that AVINOAM LUZON pled guilty this morning to selling fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of Gabriel Tramiel, 32, of Manhattan, on October 22, 2016.  LUZON pled guilty earlier today before Chief Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.


Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Avinoam Luzon was a trained medical doctor who sold a lethal dose of fentanyl.  Even as he was enrolled as a graduate student in public health, Luzon fueled the nation’s most serious health crisis, the opioid abuse epidemic.  As he admitted today, Luzon sold fentanyl to Gabriel Tramiel, a 32-year-old New Yorker, and, tragically, it killed him.”


According to the charging and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in the plea proceeding:


Gabriel Tramiel was found dead by his wife in the early morning hours of October 23, 2016.  Tramiel was transported to the hospital and was examined by a medical examiner from the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who determined that a fentanyl overdose was the cause of Tramiel’s death.  Text messages recovered from Tramiel’s phone show a conversation with LUZON the evening of October 22, 2016, in which LUZON requested payment from Tramiel for narcotics and the two arranged a meeting to exchange narcotics for payment.  LUZON later admitted to providing the lethal dose of fentanyl to Tramiel on October 22, 2016.  LUZON also turned over to law enforcement over 160 grams of fentanyl he was storing in his dorm room in Manhattan, while enrolled as a public health student.         


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LUZON, 33, of Manhattan, New York, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the defendant’s sentence will be determined by a judge.  LUZON is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2018, by the Honorable Lewis A. Kaplan, U.S. District Judge.


Mr. Kim praised the outstanding work of the NYPD.  He also thanked the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement for their assistance with this investigation.


This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karin Portlock and Matthew Podolsky are in charge of the case.

Updated November 28, 2017

Prescription Drugs
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-376