DA: 'Significant drug dealers' charged with manslaughter in deadly overdose
Two East End men have been charged with manslaughter in connection with a deadly overdose, according to Suffolk County prosecutors.
"These are significant drug dealers," Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini said Monday, referring to 35-year-old Lashawn Lawrence, 52-year-old Bryan Hale and 49-year-old John Brophy, who were arraigned on an indictment in connection with the sale of heroin and fentanyl. Lawrence and Brophy were also charged with manslaughter for the September 2018 overdose death of 50-year-old Lawrence Yaccarino, of Riverhead.
"In statements to police, Brophy admitted that he knew the product he was selling was powerful and had caused overdoses, a fact that he shared with his supplier, Lawrence, via text," Sini says.
Prosecutors say an auto body shop at 500 Lincoln St. in Riverhead is owned by Hale and that Hale allowed Brophy to sell drugs out of there.
Brophy's attorney says his client is a drug addict and that he feels the DA is over-reaching with the manslaughter charge.
Sini called that "nonsense" and pointed out that this is the third time prosecutors have brought a manslaughter charge against suspected drug dealers. The two others, James Fava and Roxy Headly, did eventually plead guilty.
All three men pleaded not guilty and were held on bail ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.
If convicted on the manslaughter charge, Brophy and Lawrence face a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison.