A Valley Stream man was sentenced to nine years in prison and 3 years of post-release supervision Wednesday for his role in selling heroin laced with fentanyl that was linked to more than half a dozen overdoses in Nassau County — including two that were fatal, prosecutors said.
Bryan Jennings, 35, pleaded guilty on April 4 to criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance before Court of Claims Judge Alan Honorof.
“This defendant poisoned our communities by selling heroin and narcotics, preying on addicts to benefit himself,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release Thursday. “Thanks to the great police work and to our prosecutors this defendant will be off the street for many years to come.”
The two fatal overdoses occurred in May 2015 and June 2016, a spokeswoman said.
Singas said beginning September 2015, the Nassau police Narcotics Vice Bureau began investigating Jennings for selling heroin in Nassau. Investigators discovered that Jennings had sold heroin and heroin laced with fentanyl, and Jennings was arrested in August 2016 in connection with those crimes, she said.
At the time of his arrest, Jennings also admitted to selling heroin to a fatal overdose victim in June 2016, the release added.
Jennings was later indicted by a grand jury on charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance, among other charges. In that case, Jennings posted bail and was released from jail.
After Jennings’ release, Nassau police and the district attorney’s office continued to investigate him and on Dec. 5, 2016, obtained a search warrant for his residence, the release added. At that time, more than 30 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl and 20 grams of cocaine, also laced with fentanyl, were recovered, along with scales, packaging material and about $1,000 in small bills. The defendant was arrested and remanded at that point.
Jennings’ attorney, Jason L. Russo of Bay Shore, said in a telephone interview Thursday that his client had sold drugs to support his own drug habit.
“He accepted responsibility for his actions before the court and explained he’s had a lengthy history of drug addiction that has fueled his behavior,” Russo said of Jennings.
Russo added Jennings wants to get help and while in the Nassau County jail awaiting sentencing Jennings took advantage of drug treatment that was available to him there.
“It’s my client’s intent to use this opportunity [of imprisonment] to get treatment for himself so he doesn’t wind up in the same place again,” Russo said. “He was selling drugs to fuel his habit.”