A Suffolk County grand jury indicted an accused drug dealer who allegedly sold fentanyl-laced cocaine that caused two fatal overdoses on the North Fork last month on upgraded charges of manslaughter.
Lavain Creighton, 51, of Greenport, was arrested August 18 along with his alleged supplier, 46-year-old Justin Smith of Smithtown, and pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He faces up to 15 years in prison for the second-degree manslaughter charge.
“This defendant was on notice that there was something in the product he was allegedly selling that was not right after receiving a text message from one of his customers indicating that the substance may have been something other than cocaine,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said. “He did not warn his customers, nor did he stop selling that product, which is the epitome of recklessness.”
The arrest came days after a series of eight overdoses, six of which proved fatal, between August 5 and 13, that have been connected to a batch of fentanyl-laced cocaine on the North Fork and Shelter Island, authorities have said. The other fatal overdoses and several non-fatal overdoses are still under investigation.
An East End Drug Task Force investigation revealed evidence that Creighton had allegedly sold the lethal drugs that caused two of the fatal overdoses and had sold drugs to a third individual who died of a fatal overdose, prosecutors said. The evidence included undercover investigators purchasing drugs from the suspect and text messages from one of the victims to Creighton.
“Yo, I think that stuff is cut with something weird,” a victim with the initials S.A. texted Creighton, according to investigators. “Having trouble keeping my eyes from movin around, giving me the spins. Just wanted to warn you.”
Creighton responded “ok” and then allegedly sold the narcotics to two more victims. All three died on August 13. Toxicology reports for the victims revealed the presence of cocaine and fluorofentanyl, a type of fentanyl, prosecutors said.
Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice John Collins set bail for $500,000 cash, $5 million bond or $5 million partially secured bond. He is due back in court on October 15.