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Press Release

Staten Island Heroin Dealer Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison 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 sentenced today to 23 years in prison for 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 in May 2019 after an eight-day trial before United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Paul Van Manen peddled the fentanyl-laced heroin that caused the death of Michael Ogno.  He made that sale fully aware that the same formulation had caused a nonfatal overdose just two months prior.  The lengthy sentence should send a message to those who sell lethal drugs like fentanyl.”

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 on Staten Island and in 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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In addition to the prison sentence, PAUL VAN MANEN, 51, of Staten Island and South Amboy, New Jersey, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. 

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 October 15, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-338