A Long Island heroin dealer with a deadly stash confessed on Monday to a sale that led to the fatal overdose of a college student in 2016.
Richard Jacobellis, 24, pleaded guilty to heroin distribution in Central Islip Federal Court and recognized he sold the toxin that led to the standout high school wrestler Nicholas Weber, 20, in May 2016.
According to authorities, Jacobellis accepted 16-year sentence instead of risking a 20-year sentence at trial.
According to prosecutors, Jacobellis sold heroin for close to five years and one of his customers was Weber, a former champion wrestler at Kings Park High School. Weber bought $100 of heroin and in less than an hour of the transaction was discovered unresponsive by a friend, court papers said. According to the autopsy, the Suffolk County Community College student died of “acute heroin intoxication.” Weber had been accepted to Stony Brook University for the fall term in 2016, where he intended to study physics.
Prosecutors said Jacobellis, of Ridge, knew he sold the fatal drug to Weber, but kept dealing up to his arrest in February 2017. Jacobellis had also made a sale to 18-year-old Frances Theiling on March 2015, who overdosed but was saved by Suffolk County police able to administer naloxone.
Long Island U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said Jacobellis’ plea “will not bring back Nicholas Weber, yet it will make an impression to other people who may consider selling drugs that this office will bring to justice those who add to the opioid plague and consider them responsible for the harm they cause.”