New Hyde Park family calls for suspected dealer to be charged with murder in son's overdose

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After losing their son to a drug overdose during the holiday season, a New Hyde Park couple is calling on the suspected drug dealer who allegedly sold their 18-year-old fentanyl-laced heroin to be charged with murder.

Denise and Branko Rakamaric are still coming to terms over the death of their son Nicolas, a talented singer. He died from a fatal drug overdose on Dec. 3.

"Nick didn't deserve to die, he was a good boy," says Denise Rakamaric. "(I) absolutely had no idea. It was, I believe, something that was newly introduced to him."

Nick's father discovered his son's lifeless body in his bedroom. He was supposed to start a new job that same day.

"I was like ... didn't know what to do," says Branko Rakamaric. "I was shaking him, saying 'Wake up, wake up.'"

Police at the scene say they discovered a drug package under his bed. Nick's father says the substance that was found was tested and came back as pure fentanyl with a trace of heroin.

On that same day, Nassau police were able to track down the alleged drug dealer through Nick's phone. Denise Rakamaric says police posed as her son and arranged a meetup with Damiean Johnson, of Queens. He was arrested and charged with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

"When they did arrest him, they found the identical packaging of what was found in my son's bed," says Denise Rakamaric.

Nicolas' parents say because of the new bail reform law, Johnson has been walking free while awaiting trial. They're calling on the Nassau District Attorney's Office to charge him with murder.

"They shouldn't be out on the street, poisoning and killing our children," says Denise Rakamaric. "So we need to really fight for stiffer penalties. It should be murder."

The DA's office told News 12 it couldn't comment on an ongoing investigation.

Johnson is due back in court next Friday. The family is planning to be there and rally to advocate for Nick's life.

 

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