Jail For Conspiracy In Drug Fatality

Lashawn Lawrence at his trial last month.

The hammer finally came down on Lashawn Lawrence in Suffolk County Criminal Court October 15.

Judge Anthony Senft sent Lawrence upstate for a two-to-four-year stint. Last month, Judge Senft found the defendant guilty of conspiracy for his role in the death of a Riverhead man who died of a drug overdose a year earlier.

Lawrence, was convicted of conspiring with John Brophy, 50, of Riverhead, to sell heroin cut with fentanyl to Lawrence Yaccarino, 50, who suffered a fatal overdose at a home on Sweezy Avenue on Sept. 19, 2018. Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said Brophy and Lawrence deliberately brewed a potion of potentially lethal drugs and sold the mix nonetheless. According to court papers, they shared text messages about the product they were selling. Yaccarino emerged as the likely buyer, the conversation showed. Brophy previously plead ed guilty to manslaughter and narcotics sale charges on August 30. He was sentenced by Senft October 3 to four to six years in prison.

A third codefendant, Bryan Hale, 52, of Flanders, pleaded guilty August 9 to one count of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (narcotic drug), a class C felony. Hale allegedly allowed Lawrence and Brophy to sell drugs out of his auto repair shop on Lincoln Street in Riverhead. He is free on a $200,000 bond awaiting sentencing.

Drug Den Popped Again

The district attorney’s East End Drug Task Force, along with the Riverhead Police Department, conducted an investigation into 67 Zion Street in Riverhead. This location has also had two executed search warrants done since 2016. Complaints refer to this premise as the epicenter and a safe haven to both sell and utilize illegal narcotics. On October 15, at approximately 3:01 PM, a search warrant was executed, resulting in the recovery of crack cocaine, packaging material, and various items of drug paraphernalia. Venable Booker, 69, was charged with third-degree and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Five other individuals were charged with loitering.

Booker was held for arraignment, as well as Robert E. Young, 54, who was turned over for processing after being charged with loitering and finding out he had an outstanding Riverhead bench warrant.

The East End Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement unit funded by the district attorney’s office. The task force includes detectives, police officers, and law enforcement personnel from the New York State Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk County Department of Probation, Southampton Town Police Department, Riverhead Police Department, East Hampton Town Police Department, Southampton Village Police Department, Southold Town Police Department, and Suffolk County district attorney investigators.

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