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Flanders man charged with drug sales that led to overdose death

A Flanders man was arraigned on a 10-count indictment today for alleged drug sales, including heroin and fentanyl that led to the overdose death of a 27-year-old East Quogue woman last year. 

Justin Adamo, 34, was charged with three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both class B felonies, one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony, three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both class A misdemeanors.

If convicted of the top count, he could face a maximum sentence of up to nine years in prison, officials said.

Prosecutors charge that on Sept. 5, 2018, Southampton Town police responded to the scene of a fatal overdose in East Quogue, caused by a mix of heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone and cocaine.

The victim’s cell phone records showed text messages from a contact called “Tone,” indicating he had heroin for purchase and an address where the sale could occur.

Further investigation revealed the number belonged to Mr. Adamo, and the directions provided were to his residence in Flanders. A collaborative investigation between Southampton police and the District Attorney’s office showed Mr. Adamo would allegedly travel to Queens to pick up narcotics he sold in Suffolk County.

Mr. Adamo was arrested by Southampton Town police Feb. 17, after they found packaged heroin and cocaine stamped with the name “Top Gun” in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Sunrise Highway in East Quogue.

Then, on March 31, officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle Mr. Adamo was a passenger in. He was found to be in possession of a bag of heroin, this time stamped with the name “Hall Pass,” prosecutors said.

They also found evidence of an alleged drug sale on March 25.

Pursuant to the investigation, Mr. Adamo was arrested July 6 on various drug charges and also found to be in possession of a switchblade knife. During a court appearance Friday, Suffolk County Court Judge Karen M. Wilutis ordered Mr. Adamo be held without bail, pending a bail application by his lawyer. He is due back in court July 23.

“The combination of heroin and fentanyl is highly lethal, and the drug dealers profiting from this poison are well aware of that,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a press release, calling for stronger legislation in response to selling drugs.

Overall in 2018, there was a decline in Suffolk County opioid-related deaths. “But the fight against this epidemic is far from over,” Mr. Sini said, adding that he would continue working with law enforcement to prosecute drug dealers.

In a statement Friday, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said this case is another example of the “deadly consequences” of opioid use. “The Southampton Town Police Department, working with the Suffolk County DA’s office and our East End Partners, will not rest until we rid our communities of those who demonstrate a complete disregard for the law and human life itself by promoting and profiting from the sale of these deadly substances,” he said.

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