Drug Dealer From Kent Convicted After Being Linked To Fatal Overdose: 'Career Criminal'

A Hudson Valley drug dealer faces decades in prison after being convicted of selling a dangerous drug concoction that caused a fatal overdose, officials announced. 

William Mancusi of Kent, age 47. 

William Mancusi of Kent, age 47. 

Photo Credit: Putnam County District Attorney's Office

Putnam County resident William Mancusi III of Kent, age 47, was convicted on charges in connection to a fatal drug overdose that happened in November 2021 in Southeast, Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy announced on Wednesday, Jan. 17. 

According to Tendy's office, the events leading up to Mancusi's conviction began on Nov. 12, 2021, when New York State Police investigators responded to a fatal overdose in Southeast. The investigation into the death eventually determined that the drugs linked to the overdose had been sold by Mancusi. 

Investigators then commenced a series of undercover operations, which led to Mancusi selling a heroin, fentanyl, and xylazine cocktail to a confidential informant. During the transaction, Mancusi was recorded as bragging that the combination was some of the "strongest" drugs that he had "in over a year," and was also heard warning the informant to "be careful" while using the substances, officials said.

A chemical analysis conducted by New York State Police Forensic Scientist Jenna Snow confirmed that the mixture was a "very potent" combination of heroin, fentanyl, and xylazine, officials added. 

Mancusi was convicted of two counts each of criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. After the jury handed down its verdict, he was remanded to the Putnam County Correctional Facility. 

He faces a maximum of 24 years in state prison when he is sentenced on Tuesday, March 5. 

This is not Mancusi's first conviction, as he was also convicted of driving while impaired with drugs in 2014. Additionally, he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter following a 2008 incident in which he struck and killed a bicyclist in Dutchess County while impaired by drugs. 

"Mr. Mancusi clearly didn’t learn his lessons from his two previous state prison sentences,” Tendy said, adding, "We are grateful that we have removed a career criminal from our community and are grateful to the jury for their service.”

Tendy also said that the drug mixture peddled by Mancusi was especially powerful. 

"This defendant knowingly pushed deadly drugs into our community. The drug cocktail he was selling had an additional deadly layer to it when you consider it had Xylazine, which is unresponsive to Narcan. This was extraordinarily dangerous stuff," Tendy said.

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