Area Duo Sentenced For Selling Fentanyl That Led To At Least Four Deaths, Feds Say

Two area men have been sentenced to prison in connection with the fentanyl overdose deaths of four people.

2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose for most people.
2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose for most people. Photo Credit: United States Drug Enforcement Administration

Frank Moss, aka "Jigga," a Poughkeepsie drug dealer who sold fentanyl to two women who later died, was sentenced to almost 22 years in prison, said Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Arnold Melendez, aka "Frankie," another Poughkeepsie drug dealer, who sold fentanyl leading to the overdose deaths of two men, was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison, Berman said.

Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the court filing, beginning in Feb. 2017 – right after being released from prison – Moss agreed to sell fentanyl he knew contained pure fentanyl after being warned by co-conspirators. In fact, the filings say, Moss himself overdosed on the drug, but survived.

Despite knowing the drugs were lethal, the court filings say Moss continued to sell the product, saying "That's what the people want."

Two of his customers, Aracelis Batista and Julie Mach, both of the City of Poughkeepsie, overdosed and died in August 2017 as a result of using fentanyl sold to them by Moss, the court documents show.

In the Melendez case, court documents show that he began selling the drug in Poughkeepsie in Dec. 2017, a month after being released from prison.

Despite knowing that the drug was killing people, and being told that his users were overdosing, Melendez continued to sell the drugs, leading to the deaths of two men, the court documents say.

Following the sentencing, Berman thanked the DEA and the Dutchess County Drug Task Force with consists of members from the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, the City of Beacon Police Department, City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Town of East Fishkill Police Department, Town of Hyde Park Police Department and the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. 

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