Says Current DA Had Numerous Opportunities to Indict Him for Felony Drug Possession, But Failed to Do So
Last week, Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini held a press conference to congratulate himself for the arrest of Justin Smith and claimed that Mr. Smith bears responsibility in the overdose deaths that occurred in the east end of Long Island between August 5 and August 13, 2021. According to reports, in total, there were nine overdoses and six deaths as a result of drug dealers mixing fentanyl with cocaine.
While Mr. Smith certainly bears criminal responsibility, Mr. Sini, as usual, omitted numerous facts from his press conference that prove that, if Mr. Sini was doing his job, these tragic deaths would never have occurred. This is what really happened:
- Justin K. Smith was first arrested in 1995. Ray Tierney prosecuted Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to the robbery and remained in jail for 12 years, getting paroled in May of 2007.
- In November 2007, Mr. Smith was once again arrested and charged with felony possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Once again, he pleaded guilty and received a sentence of three years’ incarceration. (This second felony conviction is important because it makes Mr. Smith a second felony offender under existing New York state law. This means that, if Mr. Smith is convicted of a third felony, the prosecutor can seek a very heavy sentence, up to and including a sentence of life imprisonment.)
- In October 2020, the East End Drug Task Force was able to make four separate felony drug buys involving Mr. Smith. Any one of these drug buys, if indicted by the District Attorney, would have been enough to charge Smith with a felony and he would be looking at life imprisonment. The District Attorney did not indict Mr. Smith on the prior drug sales.
- In February 2021, a full six months before those six victims on the east end lost their lives, the District Attorney executed a search warrant at a residence controlled by Mr. Smith and recovered felony amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl. Again, the District Attorney did not indict the case.
**A drug dealer mixes fentanyl with drugs such as crack and powdered cocaine. Cocaine is expensive. Drug dealers will buy cocaine and look to increase their profits by adding non-narcotic fillers to the cocaine, such as mannitol and baby powder, so they can sell more of it. Of course, stretching out the cocaine in this manner makes it less potent, so the drug dealers will add the relatively cheap fentanyl to the mixture to fool their customers into thinking they are not getting ripped off. Fentanyl is a powerful end-of-life narcotic that is highly addictive and very dangerous. In fact, it is so dangerous that it is usually only prescribed to terminally ill patients. One slight misstep in the mixture could lead to a string of overdoses, which is exactly what happened on the east end six months later in August.