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Ex-NYPD Officer From Long Island Sentenced In Connection To Fatal Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl patches
Fentanyl patches Photo Credit: Creative Commons/nilswommelsdorf

A former NYPD officer from Long Island will spend time behind bars for conspiring to sell the fentanyl that led to a fatal overdose.

Officer Joseph Recca, age 28, of West Islip, was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by two years of post-release supervision after pleading guilty in February to charges that include manslaughter, criminal sale of a controlled substance, and conspiracy.

Recca had also been charged with unauthorized use of a computer and official misconduct for allegedly running license plates using NYPD databases.

Officials said the investigation began after police found a cellphone next to the body of a Long Island man who fatally overdosed in September last year. The phone allegedly had text conversations between the victim and Recca.

The victim, Ryan Bornschein, had fentanyl, ethanol, and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death, officials said, and Recca had texted him about payment from a previous sale while Bornschein was hospitalized after a non-fatal overdose.

Recca was reportedly the one who sold the drug to the overdose victim and was linked back to the site of the sale prior to Bornschein’s death.

Officials said that Recca’s vehicle had 100 oxycodone pills in a hidden compartment, along with two cellphones when it was searched before his arrest. Approximately $10,000 in cash, financial records, drug paraphernalia, and steroids were also seized at his Long Island home.

“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 Timothy Sini said. “Today, my Office and the Court held him responsible for the death he caused.

Recca had been an NYPD officer since 2017 before resigning following his arrest in July last year.

“What makes his case unique and particularly troubling is the fact that he was selling drugs while also serving as a police officer,” Sini added. “We will not tolerate drug dealers peddling poison in our communities, and our message today is that no one is above the law.”

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