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Wading River woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling narcotics, firearm possession

A drug trafficker from Wading River who sold dangerous drugs like fentanyl was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Amber Schatz, 33, was sentenced Thursday in Central Islip federal court by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley for conspiring to distribute controlled substances and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. She pleaded guilty to the charges in May as part of plea agreement. The sentencing length was the mandatory minimum.

Ms. Schatz and her boyfriend, Curtis Prussick, regularly sold drugs from parking lots around Rocky Point, officials said. In January 2020, the two conspired to distribute large quantities of narcotics, including fentanyl.

Community complaints of individuals distributing drugs in public places led to an investigation and the East End Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence where Ms. Schatz and her boyfriend lived at 42 Lewin Drive. Law enforcement seized over 170 grams of fentanyl, over 125 grams of cocaine and 40 grams of crack cocaine as well as quantities of oxycodone and heroine. Officers also recovered materials for packaging drugs, a pill press that they used to press fentanyl into pill form and a 9 millimeter semi-automatic rifle that the defendants used for protection. Ammunition was also seized.

They were both arrested in January 2020 when members of the drug task force and Suffolk County police stopped a narcotics sale in progress by both Ms. Schatz and Mr. Prussick, records show. That led law enforcement to obtain a search warrant for the Wading River home. Ms. Schatz was taken into federal custody on Feb. 11, 2020.

Charges against Mr. Prussick are still pending.

“Today’s sentence demonstrates that defendants like Schatz who contribute to the opioid epidemic and put communities at risk by openly selling large quantities of dangerous drugs will face serious consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a press release.

Mr. Peace said law enforcement at the FBI, the county’s East End Drug Task Force and Riverhead Police Department worked together on the case and “to remove drug dealers and their guns from the streets of Long Island.”

Both Ms. Schatz and Mr. Prussick were arrested in 2015 by Riverhead police for allegedly selling drugs in the Wading River area.

In her guilty plea, Ms. Schatz told the court that the drug business with Mr. Prussick had been “ongoing for several years.”

“Curtis and I worked together to distribute drugs in Suffolk County, N.Y. to multiple individuals,” she said. “Our drug business involved the distribution of crack cocaine, cocaine and fentanyl.” Referencing the firearm, she added that they were concerned they could be targeted by gang members or others seeking their drugs.

The prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michael Maffei, told the court in May that law enforcement witnesses observed both defendants engage in narcotics transactions and the federal officials also has non-law enforcement witnesses who purchased narcotics from them both on multiple occasions.