BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An alleged drug dealer from Lockport remained in federal prison Friday, after being indicted on charges related to selling a woman a fatal dose of fentanyl-laced heroin.
The indictment is part of the region’s efforts of regional law enforcement to bring criminal charges to dealers, who are selling deadly drugs.
Pablo Lugo III, 22, of Lockport, is charged with distribution of fentanyl causing death.
Federal authorities said Lugo sold a 22-year-old woman heroin that was laced with fentanyl on March 28, 2015.
Officials say the woman died because of the drugs Lugo sold.
More than 130 people are believed to have died this year of opiate overdoses, according to data released last week by County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein. She said more than 85 percent of those suspected deaths are linked to fentanyl.
While state laws make it difficult to prosecute dealers who sell deadly drugs, federal law enforcement can treat the crimes like a homicide.
“Our message today is a personal one for those who have continued to deal with the loss of a loved one due to addiction,” said acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. “We have not forgotten you. We will continue to bring to justice those that took from you the most precious civil right, the right to life, from you.”
The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.
Kennedy said Friday there are a number of other similar cases pending in his office, as well as with prosecutors in Erie and Niagara counties.