(Suffolk County, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that QHAMEL DICKERSON, 28, of Huntington Station, and RASHIED SMITH, 41, of Central Islip, were both sentenced for selling fentanyl that resulted in two unrelated overdose deaths of Suffolk County residents.
“The fentanyl epidemic has claimed the lives of two more innocent women, and the unfortunate reality is that this problem will continue to worsen without action,” said District Attorney Tierney. “The dangers of fentanyl are not breaking news anymore. Not in Suffolk County, not in Albany, and not to the drug dealers who continue to push this poison into our communities. Cheap manufacturing and lethally high potency have exposed the legislative gaps that hinder law enforcement’s ability to effectively manage the situation. That is why I will continue to push for a death by dealer statute. We owe it to the victims and their families to hold all dealers of fentanyl dealers accountable for the deaths they cause.”
According to court documents and DICKERSON’s admission during his guilty plea allocution, on July 5, 2022, the Suffolk County Police Department responded to East Northport for a fatal drug overdose of a 23-year-old female.
The victim’s cell phone, found at the scene, contained text messages between the victim and DICKERSON in which DICKERSON agreed to sell the victim illicit pills. On July 4, 2022, DICKERSON met with the victim and sold her counterfeit pills that bore the color, shape, and markings of oxycodone, but contained fentanyl instead.
In August 2022, DICKERSON used the same cell phone to communicate with an undercover detective from the Suffolk County Police Department, where DICKERSON agreed to sell the undercover detective the same type of pills he sold to the overdose victim. Thereafter, at a location in Suffolk County, DICKERSON met with the undercover detective and sold them counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. DICKERSON was arrested on September 1, 2022.
On March 10, 2023, DICKERSON pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Anthony S. Senft, Jr., to two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a Class B felony. DICKERSON faced up to nine years in prison at sentencing. On April 18, 2023, Judge Senft sentenced DICKERSON to five years in prison followed by two years of post-release supervision. The District Attorney’s Office had requested an eight-year prison sentence. DICKERSON was represented by Scott Zerner, Esq.
In a separate case, on the morning of June 23, 2022, the Suffolk County Police Department responded to a home in Mastic and discovered a 43-year-old woman had fatally overdosed. The police recovered the victim’s cell phone which contained text messages between her and SMITH from the night before her death. In those text message conversations, SMITH agreed to sell the victim crack cocaine and fentanyl. Police learned that SMITH had met the victim in Central Islip where he sold her the drugs.
Within 48 hours of the victim’s death, SMITH sold crack cocaine to an undercover detective in the Suffolk County Police Department. A couple of days later, Smith sold crack cocaine and fentanyl to the undercover detective. A search warrant was executed at SMITH’s residence where police found the cell phone he used to negotiate the sales of crack cocaine and fentanyl with both the victim and the undercover detective.
Police also found an illegal loaded Taurus semi-automatic firearm, crack cocaine, and a digital scale used for weighing narcotics for sale. SMITH was arrested on June 29, 2022.
On April 7, 2023, SMITH pleaded guilty before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Richard Ambro, to two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a Class B felony, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class C violent felony. SMITH faced up to 12 years in prison at sentencing.
On May 18, 2023, Judge Ambro sentenced SMITH to seven years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision. The District Attorney’s Office had requested a 10-year prison sentence. SMITH was represented by Lonnie Hart, Jr., Esq.
Prior to the conviction in this case, SMITH had multiple prior convictions related to drug possession, including two separate convictions for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, a Class C felony, in both 2016 and 2019, as well as a felony conviction for Violating the Sex Offender Registry Requirement as a Second Offense in 2013.
These cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicole Felice of the Narcotics Bureau.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
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