Ex-NYPD officer gets prison time for selling fentanyl pills that led to fatal overdose

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RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A former NYPD officer has been sentenced to prison time for selling fentanyl pills to a person who then fatally overdosed on Long Island, prosecutors said Monday.

Joseph Recca, 28, of West Islip, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy in February, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

He was sentenced Monday to five years in prison, with two years of post-release supervision.

“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is aggressively investigating and prosecuting drug dealers, particularly those who are causing overdoses, and Joseph Recca is the latest example,” District Attorney Tim Sini said in a statement. “Today, my Office and the Court held him responsible for the death he caused.”

Recca, who had been with the NYPD since 2017, resigned from the force in July 2020 after being arrested on drug charges. Prosecutors said the former cop sold fentanyl pills to a person who fatally overdosed in Copiague on Sept. 3, 2019.

Authorities say the 28-year-old worked with two other men to sell narcotics and used department technology to run the license plates of vehicles he thought might be tailing him while he sold the illegal pills.

When Recca was arrested, officers found approximately 100 pressed fentanyl pills marketed as oxycodone in his possession. A search warrant executed at his home, meanwhile, discovered more than $10,000 in cash.

The prosecutions against Recca’s two alleged co-conspirators are still pending; Mike Sosa, 25, of Brentwood, is due back in court on May 14 and Michael Corbett, 54, of West Islip, is due back in court on May 21.

This sentenced marked the fourth case prosecuted by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in which a defendant is convicted of Manslaughter for causing a fatal overdose.

“While we continue to be leaders in the State on this front and will continue to be innovative to do what we need to do to hold these criminals accountable, we need legislation by the State to create a ‘death by dealer’ statute,” Sini said. “We need to send a clear message that when you sell drugs and you kill people, you are responsible for those deaths. We are all on notice that these drugs are deadly; how many people need to die before we pass common sense legislation at the State level?”

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