Tierney to DA Sini: Do Your Job of Protecting Suffolk Residents, Hold Less Press Conferences!

Ray Tierney issues the following information to aid the media in getting to the true story about defendants Justin Smith and Lavain Creighton, who District Attorney Tim Sini claims bear responsibility in the six overdose deaths that occurred in the east end of Long Island between August 5 and August 13, 2021. In total, there were nine overdoses and six deaths because of drug dealers mixing fentanyl with cocaine.

While Smith and Creighton certainly bear criminal responsibility, Sini, as usual, omitted numerous facts from his previous press conference that prove that, if Sini was doing his job, these tragic deaths would never have occurred. Most importantly, Sini failed to disclose that the East End Drug Task Force, which the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office controls, oversaw six separate undercover drug buys into both Smith and Creighton long before anyone died. Given these defendant’s long criminal histories, if Sini acted to indict these dangerous criminals in a timely fashion, no one had to die.

“The sad fact of the matter is that District Attorney Sini had at least four opportunities in the past 10 months alone to put Smith and Creighton behind bars on felony charges. This failure endangered the lives of Suffolk residents. It’s time Mr. Sini actually did his job as a prosecutor, rather than covering his tracks with press conferences.”

 

A TIMELINE OF SMITH AND CREIGHTON’S CRIMINAL HISTORY

Please review below the timeline to understand why, if Tim Sini actually did his job, six deaths of Suffolk residents would have been prevented:

Smith was first arrested in 1995. Tierney prosecuted Smith, a drug dealer who, when he ran out of drugs to sell, would rob his customers at gunpoint. In 1995, Smith attempted to rob an undercover narcotics detective at gunpoint and was arrested for robbery. Smith pleaded guilty and remained in jail for 12 years, getting paroled in May of 2007.

Smith was arrested again in June 2007 for selling drugs. In November 2007, Smith pleaded guilty and received a sentence of three years’ incarceration. (This second felony conviction is important because it makes Smith a persistent eligible felony offender under existing New York state law. This means that, if Smith is convicted of a third felony, the prosecutor can seek a very heavy sentence, up to and including a sentence of life imprisonment.)

FAILURE #1: The facts of the most recent case involving Smith are alarming. By October 2020, the East End Drug Task Force was able to make four separate felony drug buys involving Smith. Any one of these drug buys, if indicted by the District Attorney, would have been enough to charge Smith with a felony and he would be looking at life imprisonment. Also, any persistent eligible felony offender who is facing a third felony charge is ineligible for bail, meaning Smith could have been incarcerated pending trial. It gets worse. When Smith was arrested in October 2020, a full ten months before anyone died, he was found to be in possession of both cocaine and fentanyl, which is the same exact deadly mixture that killed the six east end overdose victims. Notwithstanding this mountain of evidence, Smith was not indicted and he was released from custody without bail by District Attorney Sini.

FAILURE #2: In November 2020, nine months before anyone died, the East End Task Force managed to perform an undercover felony drug buy into Creighton, a well-known east end drug dealer with a prior felony conviction for drug sales, meaning if prosecuted and convicted on this charge, he would be looking at mandatory up-state felony incarceration, but he was not charged by District Attorney Sini.

FAILURE #3: In February 2021, a full six months before those six victims on the east end lost their lives, the East End Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on Smith’s home and recovered both cocaine and fentanyl, the deadly mixture that caused the deaths of the east end victims. Although the District Attorney charged Smith with the possession of these drugs, they, amazingly still did not charge him with the undercover drug sales, and he was out on the streets to deal drugs again.

FAILURE #4: In April 2021, four months before anyone died, a second undercover felony drug buy occurred involving Creighton. Once again, no charges were brought and the District Attorney did not indict the case.

FAILURE #5: In June 2021, a search warrant was executed on Creighton’s house. Cocaine and large sums of cash were recovered. Creighton was also charged with unlawfully dealing with a minor and endangering the welfare of a child because he was found to be operating a drug dealing business in the same home where he had a young child. Creighton had been charged with endangering children in this manner in the past. It is unknown what, if any, steps the District Attorney took to keep this child safe. What is known is that none of these new charges were indicted and Creighton remained out of custody.

“The theory of the case is that Smith supplied the fentanyl laced cocaine to Creighton, who later sold that same drug mixture to the two victims,” Tierney said. “What is the evidence that Creighton knew there was a mixture of fentanyl in the drugs sufficient to be fatal? There appears to be none, and this seems like yet another over-indictment by the District Attorney to distract from his earlier inaction. It is also my understanding that the District Attorney granted immunity to a number of drug dealers in return for their testimony in the Grand Jury. That means that east end drug dealers, many of whom are involved in the exact same crimes as Lavain Creighton and Justin Smith, are absolved of their crimes and given a clean slate to continue to poison their communities. Enough is enough. We need to start asking District Attorney Sini some tough questions.

** A drug dealer mixes fentanyl with drugs such as crack and powdered cocaine. Cocaine is expensive. Drug dealers will buy cocaine and look to increase their profits by adding non-narcotic fillers to the cocaine, such as mannitol and baby powder, so they can sell more of it. Of course, stretching out the cocaine in this manner makes it less potent, so the drug dealers will add the relatively cheap fentanyl to the mixture to fool their customers into thinking they are not getting ripped off. Fentanyl is a powerful end-of-life narcotic that is highly addictive and very dangerous. In fact, it is so dangerous that it is usually only prescribed to terminally ill patients. One slight misstep in the mixture could lead to a string of overdoses, which is exactly what happened on the east end six months later in August.

For more information, visit www.raytierneyforda.com.

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Hank Russell, PRMG 631-207-1057, ext. 112 [email protected]