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Press Release

Staten Island Heroin Dealer Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court For Overdose Death Of 26-Year-Old Man

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, announced that PAUL VAN MANEN was found guilty yesterday of conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl that resulted in the death of Michael Ogno, a 26-year-old man from Staten Island, New York and the serious bodily injury of another individual.  A unanimous jury convicted VAN MANEN after an eight-day trial before United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty.  Kenneth Charlton, who was tried with VAN MANEN, was acquitted of the charge against him. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As proven at trial, Paul Van Manen peddled poison to the community of Staten Island and its vicinity, causing one of his many victims to die from a tragic overdose, despite knowing of a non-fatal overdose just two months earlier from the group’s drugs.  Today’s verdict should send a message to those who flood our community’s streets with lethal drugs.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute and convict criminals seeking to profit from the current public health crisis afflicting our city.”

According to court documents and the evidence at trial:

From at least in or about 2013 up to and including in or about January 2018, VAN MANEN sold heroin, including heroin laced with fentanyl, to customers in Staten Island and New Jersey.  On October 4, 2017, VAN MANEN drove a co-conspirator (“CC-1”) to Brooklyn, New York, where they both obtained heroin from the conspiracy’s primary supplier, MEDIN KOSIC.  The next morning, CC-1 overdosed after using some of the narcotics, which were subsequently found to be laced with fentanyl.  Despite knowing about this overdose, VAN MANEN continued to sell heroin – including heroin laced with fentanyl – to members of the Staten Island community.  On December 1, 2017, VAN MANEN sold heroin to Michael Ogno, a 26-year-old resident of Staten Island.  Ogno used the heroin, which again was laced with fentanyl, and died from an overdose.  VAN MANEN continued to sell heroin after Ogno’s death. 

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PAUL VAN MANEN, 51, of Staten Island and South Amboy, New Jersey, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  A sentencing date for VAN MANEN before Judge Crotty has not yet been set. 

In addition to VAN MANEN, ten other defendants have been convicted in connection with the conspiracy.  MEDIN KOSIC was sentenced to 168 months in prison.  MIRSAD BOGDANOVIC was sentenced to 160 months in prison.  MICHAEL NUNEZ was sentenced to 150 months in prison.  ALEXANDER BUCCI was sentenced to 50 months in prison.  The remaining defendants have yet to be sentenced. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman praised the outstanding work of the New York Drug Enforcement Administration Strike Force, the New York City Police Department, and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Catherine Ghosh, Ryan Finkel, Jessica Fender, and Stephanie Lake are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated May 17, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-158