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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Holbrook Fentanyl Dealer in Custody: D.A. Ray Tierney Speaks Out Against Opioid Use

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Long Island has seen a 30% deadly increase in fatal drug overdoses since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, fentanyl, an opioid analgesic similar to morphine, but is between 50 and 100 times stronger. It is a Schedule II prescription drug, according to the FDA, and is only used to treat severe pain after surgery.

But the deadly drug has crept its way into the hands of drug dealers and into the homes of Long Islanders, resulting in fatal overdoses.

District Attorney Ray Tierney released a statement last Saturday stating Jaquan Casserly, 34, of Holbrook, has been taken into custody for allegedly selling fentanyl to a Lake Grove woman who fatally overdosed. “Sadly, this is yet another example of an alleged drug dealer pushing poison onto our streets without any regard for the inevitably destructive and deadly consequences of such sales,” Tierney said.

“Our office is steadfast in its mission to investigate every overdose in Suffolk County and hold drug dealers accountable for selling illegal and deadly substances, especially fentanyl,” he added.

Suffolk County Police responded to a drug overdose in Lake Grove on August 18, 2022. The victim was found unresponsive in the bathroom by her mother. She was given Narcan, which reverses the effects of fentanyl. After regaining a pulse, she was brought to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she passed a view days later.

Her phone was recovered by police and an undercover detective contacted Casserly, the suspect, and arranged for a meet-up.

Casserly allegedly sold the undercover detective heroin and fentanyl. Nearly a week after the victim’s overdose, a search warrant was conducted by police and recovered a number of narcotics, including heroin and fentanyl.

After searching through Casserly’s phone, there was a text exchange between him and the victim discussing meeting up at the Holbrook Commons to sell her “fetty mix,” a mixture of fentanyl and heroin.

“In this instance, within three days of getting the key piece of information, it was downloaded, a plan was created and an undercover buy was made and a search warrant was made,” Tierney told The Messenger. “The person who is responsible for these deadly drugs, is in custody.”

“You have to have a plan, you have to have a great working relationship with the police, and you have to understand that you have to act fast,” the district attorney added.

Casserly is being held on $500,000 cash bail, a $1 million bond or a $5 million partially secured bond, according to County Court Judge Steven A. Pilewski.

Tierney’s administration has a knack for removing dealers from the streets, in contrast to his predecessor Tim Sini, whose 2021 failure to prosecute a fentanyl dealer led to multiple overdose deaths across Long Island’s North Fork as The Messenger broke that August. But there is still more work to be done, the DA believes, and he knows how to keep at it.

“Unfortunately, with the Fentanyl overdose, the opioid overdose crisis, these are far from isolated incidents— what we’re doing is we’re trying to mitigate it. What we really need is tools.

We need to be able to argue dangerousness. We need to hold these dangerous drug dealers [accountable]. We need a death by dealer statute—that when you deal fentanyl, there are enhanced penalties. Especially when death occurs. That’s what we need. We need assistance from our legislature,” Tierney told The Messenger.

“I am glad that during his first year, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney has assembled an elite team of prosecutors and detective investigators working with the Suffolk Police Department to solve these cases,” Assemblyman Doug Smith (R-Holbrook) told The Messenger. “I’m working in Albany to try and help law enforcement take these dangerous murderers off our streets so they won’t continue to pedal poison into our communities, they have my full support.”

Opioids don’t discriminate. Teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable and exposed to dangerous drugs.

Tierney has one message for parents: beware of drug dealers.

“These substances are so deadly, it’s really a foregone conclusion that overdoses are going to result. But because drug dealers are self-centered and greedy, they don’t care, obviously. That makes their conduct particularly blame-worthy, and that’s why they should be held permanently liable every time this conduct results in the death of another person. There should be enhanced

penalties.”