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Arrests made in connection to fatal fentanyl overdose in Riverhead last month, DA announces

A Lake Grove couple has been arrested in connection with the fatal overdose of a Riverhead man, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced Wednesday.

Late last month, Riverhead police officers responded to a 911 call for an adult male who had apparently suffered a fatal fentanyl overdose.

Detectives in the East End Drug Task Force began an “extensive investigation,” into the origin of the drug, which led them to arrest Edward Primavera, 30, and Brooke Edwards, 35, during a search warrant at their Lake Grove residence Monday executed by members of the East End Drug Task Force, Suffolk County Narcotics Squad, Suffolk County Police Fourth Precinct and New York State Police.

According to the district attorney, law enforcement officials seized crack cocaine, fentanyl, $1,521 in cash and drug paraphernalia including a digital scale and packaging during the raid.

 “Preliminary data has indicated that Suffolk County is experiencing an uptick in overdoses during the pandemic, which is obviously very concerning,” Mr. Sini said in a statement. “Whenever there is a fatal overdose, we treat that investigation similarly to a homicide; we take immediate steps to try to determine who sold the drugs to that victim. I’ve said many times before that we’re not going to arrest ourselves out of the drug epidemic, but law enforcement will continue to be vigilant and to arrest and prosecute drug dealers who are peddling this poison in our communities.”

Both alleged drug dealers were charged with one felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as two misdemeanor counts of second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, officials said.

Mr. Primavera faces an additional charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and Ms. Edwards was charged with two additional misdemeanor counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to a press release.

They were both arraigned Tuesday and released under supervision with drug and alcohol conditions, the district attorney said. They are due back in court July 22 and if convicted of the top count, could face a maximum sentence of 8 ⅓ to 25 years in prison.

Officials did not provide additional information on the overdose victim, but Riverhead police chief David Hegermiller issued a statement thanking the DA’s office for the investigation.

“The Riverhead Police Department would like to thank the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and its East End Drug Task Force for their unending diligence in the battle against opioids and especially for this investigation into the recent fatal overdose in the Riverhead area,” the chief said.

In September, a jury acquitted a Greenport man of manslaughter after prosecutors said he knowingly sold heroin laced with fentanyl that caused a fatal overdose in Riverhead in 2018. Lashawn Lawrence was still sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison for his conviction on a lesser charge and two others charged in that case pleaded guilty for their role in the fatal overdose.