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Two Dealers Charged In Overdose Death Of Hudson Valley Teacher

Matthew Azimi
Matthew Azimi Photo Credit:

Two men are facing multiple charges for allegedly selling fentanyl to a Hudson Valley special education teacher who was found dead inside a bathroom stall at the New York City school that employed him late last year.

Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrests of Bronx residents Kashawn Lyons and Terrick Whitaker, both 31, who allegedly distributed heroin and fentanyl near the grounds of a public school in the Bronx, where Carmel native Matthew Azimi, 36, was found dead of an alleged overdose.

According to the criminal complaint filed in district court, on Nov. 30 last year, an investigation into Azimi’s death was launched after he was found dead inside a faculty bathroom at Public School X811 with a syringe and pink glassine bag next to his body. An autopsy would later determine that Azimi died from a lethal dose of fentanyl. Azimi’s cellphone was also recovered at the scene.

Police said that investigators from the NYPD were able to trace the last three calls Azimi made before his overdose, which led them to Lyons. Through further surveillance, police determined that Lyons continued to sell heroin and fentanyl in the vicinity of the school, even after Azimi’s death.

Investigators proceeded to make multiple undercover purchases in February this year from both Lyons and Whitaker, which was packaged “in the same unique pink glassine bags as the found next to Azimi’s body,” according to Durham.

Both men were recently arrested and charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and with conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Following arraignment, both men were remanded into the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections. Each is due back in court later this year to answer the charges, when they will face up to 20 years in state prison.

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