A Suffolk County judge has dismissed two manslaughter charges that an accused drug dealer was facing in the case of a string of fatal overdoses on the North Fork last summer.
Lavain Creighton of Greenport is still up against multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell after Judge John Collins dropped the manslaughter charges.
“We are very pleased that Justice Collins appropriately applied the law that requires actual reckless conduct to establish a charge of manslaughter,” said Creighton’s Riverhead-based attorney, Lane Bubka. “For too long the district attorney’s office has tried to use a statute that was never intended for inadvertent deaths caused by overdose incidents.”
His 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.
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 have said. The evidence included undercover detectives purchasing drugs from the suspect and text messages from one of the victims to Creighton, according to investigators.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the charges being dismissed. Creighton still faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted of the drug charges.