Sale of a deadly heroin leads to historic conviction

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local man is facing a lengthy time behind prison and a hefty fine when he is sentenced following a historic conviction.

Officials say this is the first time in western New York history that a man has been convicted of distributing heroin laced with fentanyl that killed a man. Police arrested 34-year-old Tonawanda native Peter Militello and say he pleaded guilty to charges Friday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says from today on, they’ll now hold drug traffickers responsible for the lives of their illicit customers.

Militello admits he played a role in the death of Robert Runfola from Buffalo. Runfola died within an hour of taking the deadly mixture in May of 2013. He was found in his bedroom by his brother with bags of heroin and fentanyl near his body.

Runfola’s family helped the U.S. Attorney’s Office build the case starting with the arrest.

“If the public sees something they should say something, because we can get these traffickers and criminals of all types behind bars where they are no longer going to be able to hurt the community,” U.S. Attorney William Hochul said.

Militello’s guilty plea came at a time when public health officials are warning the public of a growing number of fatalities across the region.

He faces up to 30 years behind bars and a $2 million fine when he is sentenced. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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