Skip to main content
Press Release

Upper West Side Heroin Dealer Arrested For Causing 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, and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that JOSE LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joey,” was arrested yesterday for selling heroin that caused the death of Luxi Gong in October 2018.  LOPEZ was presented yesterday in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, with little regard for human life, Jose Lopez lined his pockets by allegedly advertising and selling a highly potent form of heroin.  In fact, as alleged, even after he learned that the drugs he sold killed a 25-year-old woman, he continued to sell his poison.  Now, Lopez faces life in prison for his alleged crimes.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court:[1]

LOPEZ used online bulletin boards and social media to advertise and sell a particularly potent form of heroin.  On October 27, 2018, one of LOPEZ’s customers, a 25-year-old Manhattan woman named Luxi Gong, was found dead in her apartment.  Following an investigation by the NYPD, LOPEZ was identified as the person who had distributed heroin to Gong, resulting in her death.  LOPEZ continued to sell heroin even after he was informed that Gong had overdosed from the drugs he sold.

*                *                *

LOPEZ, 26, of Manhattan, New York, was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum and minimum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

U.S. Attorney Berman praised the outstanding work of the NYPD.  

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam S. Hobson is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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

Updated February 7, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-029