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Press Release

Narcotics Dealer Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Fentanyl Overdose Death

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

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Keith M. Corlett, Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that a grand jury returned an Indictment today charging JEANLUC JOILES with distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of 29-year-old Rachel Spiteri on or about June 19, 2019, in New York, New York.  JOILES and a co-defendant, JAIME ROSARIO JR., are also charged with participating in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine, and ROSARIO is charged with possessing firearms in connection with a drug trafficking offense.  JOILES and ROSARIO were previously charged by criminal complaints and arrested on October 15, 2019, and October 25, 2019, respectively.  Both defendants are detained.  The case is assigned to United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Jeanluc Joiles sold the drugs that killed a young woman.  He and co-defendant Jaime Rosario Jr. allegedly conspired to traffic in a variety of potentially lethal drugs, and Rosario allegedly possessed guns in connection with that trafficking.  The potential penalties for these alleged crimes befit the seriousness of the allegations.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said:  “Earlier this month, DEA issued a national alert on counterfeit pill trafficking across America and how fatal overdoses follow its path.  Reiterating the warning, counterfeit pills threaten New York because they mimic legitimate prescription medication, but contain unregulated amounts of fentanyl.  I applaud the diligent efforts of the law enforcement community to bring justice to victims of drug traffickers and their families.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “As alleged, these two men showed no regard for human life when they allegedly concocted and laced pills with fentanyl, which led to yet another needless death from an overdose.  HSI is committed to working with the DEA’s Strike Force and law enforcement partners to ensure that people who allegedly deal these poisons within our communities are arrested and prosecuted for their careless acts.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment, underlying complaints, and information in the public record[1]:

On June 20, 2019, Rachel Spiteri was found dead in her apartment in New York, New York.  Following an investigation by the NYPD and DEA, law enforcement agents identified JOILES as the dealer who sold Ms. Spiteri what she believed to be oxycodone pills, but in fact contained fentanyl and acetylfentanyl, a fentanyl analogue.  Following Ms. Spiteri’s death, law enforcement officers later purchased additional narcotics from both JOILES and ROSARIO, including fentanyl pills masquerading as oxycodone, and methamphetamine that was sold as cocaine. 

On October 16, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at ROSARIO’s apartment and found more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as four firearms.

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JOILES, 36 of Queens, New York, is charged with conspiracy to traffic in narcotics and with distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl resulting in death.  ROSARIO, 42, of Queens, New York, is charged with conspiracy to traffic in narcotics and with possession of firearms in connection with a drug trafficking offense.  A chart setting forth the maximum and mandatory minimum penalties for the defendants is set forth below.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the NYPD.  The charges are the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  

The Strike Force is housed at the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, the NYPD, the New York State Police, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, the Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department, and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel G. Nessim is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.




Maximum Penalties

Conspiracy to distribute narcotics




Life; mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison

Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in Death


Life; mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison

Firearms Offense


Life; consecutive mandatory minimum term of five years in prison




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

Updated November 13, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 19-373