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Middle Island man charged with distributing fentanyl, federal prosecutors say

A Middle Island man officials believe is linked to two fatal drug overdoses was charged with one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl Thursday in the Eastern District of New York.

An undercover Glen Cove police detective working with the Drug Enforcement Administration bought fentanyl, a synthetic opioid the DEA says is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, from defendant Charles Carter on seven occasions between October and January, according to court documents.

The undercover detective purchased 67 grams of fentanyl and 30 grams of heroin from Carter for approximately $4,000 during that period, officials said.

The investigation into Carter, also known as "Chase," was prompted in part by the death of a woman from a fentanyl overdose in August, the papers said. The woman had several drug-related communications with Carter prior to her fatal overdose, which was confirmed earlier this month by the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office.

Carter, 31, had similar communications with a man who died from a suspected fentanyl overdose in January, according to the papers, although the Nassau medical examiner’s office has not yet issued an official determination on the cause of death.

U.S. Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson ordered Carter held without bail during a telephone arraignment Thursday. Carter faces at least five years in prison and up to 40 years if convicted, according to prosecutors, who said the defendant has confessed to the crimes.

Carter’s attorney, Christopher Cassar of Huntington, did not immediately return a call for comment. Cassar entered a not guilty plea on Carter’s behalf during the arraignment.

Carter was arrested on Feb. 5 during a Nassau police undercover operation spurred by drug-related communications the defendant had with the second victim, court papers said.

A Nassau police officer posing as the deceased victim arranged to purchase drugs from Carter in Farmingdale. Carter threw his vehicle into reverse and tried to flee when police attempted to arrest him, then refused to exit his vehicle when ordered. He continued to resist police even after he was pulled from the vehicle, by violently swinging his elbows at officers. Arresting officers had to use a Taser to subdue him, the papers said.

Police seized a plastic bag containing fentanyl, $1,900 and twho cell phones used to arrange drug sales following Carter’s arrest, according to the court papers. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession, third-degree criminal sale and resisting arrest, according to a spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

Carter pleaded guilty in November 2019 to attempted tampering of physical evidence and seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance in Suffolk County. He was scheduled to be sentenced Friday by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro, a spokeswoman for Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said.

During an interview with Suffolk police last May, the papers said, Carter identified himself as a member of the "Prime Time 5-9 Brims," an affiliate of the Bloods street gang.

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