Alleged drug dealer indicted in overdose death

An alleged drug dealer from Ronkonkoma is facing a manslaughter charge in connection with a man's fatal overdose.



James Fava is now the second alleged drug dealer indicted in the county for an overdose death.



Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota says Fava sold a heroin and fentanyl mix to Bryan Gallagher, of Oakdale. Gallagher died in July from fentanyl intoxication.



Spota says Fava knew his drug was potentially deadly and even warned Gallagher in text messages about the danger.



"He did not believe Gallagher was able to sufficiently handle the potency of the drug," says Spota. He says Fava continued to sell the mix even after he knew Gallagher had died from an overdose.



Fava was arrested in July after prosecutors say neighbors complained that Fava was selling drugs out of this home on Wildwood Road. He was arraigned on the upgraded charge of manslaughter Tuesday in Riverhead.



Fava is being held on $200,000 bail. His attorney had no comment.



Spota acknowledged that it is legally challenging to prove a direct link between a drug sale and a drug death, but he says text messages will help in this case.



Drug treatment specialist Jeff Reynolds says charging drug dealers in fatal overdose cases could be a good deterrent.



"It gives us yet another tool as we battle this historic crisis," he told News 12 Long Island.



Over the summer, 29-year old Roxy Headley Jr., of Mastic, was the first person in Suffolk's history to be charged with manslaughter in connection to an overdose.


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