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Flanders man pleads guilty for role in 2018 fatal overdose

A Flanders man pleaded guilty earlier this month for his role in a 2018 fatal overdose that resulted in indictments against three men who allegedly supplied heroin cut with fentanyl.

Bryan Hale, 52, pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony carrying a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in jail, according to online court records. He had been facing up to 25 years in jail on the original top charge of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

He is due in court for sentencing on Oct. 18.

Mr. Hale allegedly allowed John Brophy, 49, of Riverhead to sell drugs out of his auto repair shop on 500 Lincoln Ave. in Riverhead, prosecutors said. Mr. Brophy and LaShawn Lawrence, 35, of Greenport were both charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Riverhead Town Police responded to the scene of a fatal overdose on Sweezey Avenue in Riverhead on Sept. 19, 2018. A preliminary investigation revealed that the victim, a 50-year-old Riverhead man, overdosed on a mixture of heroin and other substances, including fentanyl.

Officials determined that Mr. Brophy, acting in concert with Mr. Hale, had allegedly sold the drugs to the victim, and that further investigation revealed that Mr. Lawrence was allegedly Mr. Brophy’s supplier for the narcotics.

Additional charges Mr. Hale faced were covered in the plea agreement.

The cases against Mr. Brophy and Mr. Lawrence are still pending. They had both been scheduled to appear in court Monday and their cases were adjourned to a later date. The case against Mr. Lawrence is listed as headed to trial, according online court records.

When the indictment it was announced, District Attorney Timothy Sini it was only the third time in Suffolk County history that manslaughter charges were brought against drug dealers in connection with a fatal overdose.

In July, prosecutors announced the indictment of a Flanders man for alleged drug sales, including heroin and fentanyl that led to the overdose death of a 27-year-old East Quogue woman.

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