3 from Lockport face federal charges in fatal overdose of Medina man
Press Release, United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Western District of New York
MEDINA – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Bruno J. Haney, II, 29; Marissa L. DeCarlo, 26; and James O. White, 27, all of Lockport were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, butyryl fentanyl, and fentanyl that resulted in serious bodily injury and death. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in the early morning hours of March 25, 2017, officers from the Medina Police Department found an individual identified as W.S. unresponsive and in cardiac arrest. W.S. later died.
Officers recovered three small, clear, zip lock baggies containing a powder residue and a hypodermic needle in W.S.’s pant pockets. A subsequent analysis determined the substance contained heroin and fentanyl. The coroner ruled that the cause of death was the combined effects of fentanyl and alcohol.
Text messages retrieved from the cellular telephone of W.S. show that on the evening of March 24, 2017, W.S. ordered a half of a “bun,” which is street slang for half of a bundle of heroin from a contact saved on W.S.’s cellular phone as “James,” which was determined to be defendant James White.
Subsequent to W.S.’s death, law enforcement officers, in June 2017 conducted two controlled buys of half a bundle of heroin from White. During each of those purchases, White left his Caledonia Street residence and went to Haney’s Prospect Street residence. Additionally, in April and June 2017, law enforcement officers conducted three controlled purchases from Haney at his Prospect Street residence that he shared with DeCarlo.
On June 16, 2017, members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Haney and DeCarlo’s residence. Officers recovered a quantity of butyryl fentanyl, $515.00 in U.S. currency, and drug packaging paraphernalia. In June and July of 2018, law enforcement officers made three additional controlled buys of heroin and fentanyl from Haney.
On Oct. 9, 2018, the Lockport Police Department responded to a report of an overdose. Officers located an individual, identified as J.B., who was unresponsive with shallow breathing. Patrol officers administered two doses of Narcan and J.B. began making attempts to breathe. J.B. was transported by ambulance to the hospital for further medical treatment. J.B. later told officers that she overdosed on what she thought and was told was heroin, which she purchased from Haney. DeCarlo was present during that purchase.
On Jan. 14, 2019, Haney was indicted in Niagara County Court for three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd and three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 3rd. He was arrested on January 18, 2019. During a search of a residence on East Avenue in Lockport, officers recovered a quantity of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, a quantity of fentanyl, a quantity of marijuana, $978 in U.S. currency, and drug packaging paraphernalia.
While in custody in the Niagara County Jail, Haney made several phone calls to DeCarlo directing her to collect money owed to Haney for drug transactions. The two also discussed Haney’s source of supply and how to proceed with their narcotics activity.
On Jan. 24, 2019, the Niagara County Drug Task Force received an online complaint that Haney was out on bail and was again selling narcotics at his residence on East Avenue.
White was arrested on Jan. 22, 2019, by the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force and charged with felony manslaughter in the second degree. While incarcerated at the Orleans County Jail, White made a phone call to an unknown individual, during which he stated, “they are trying to say that back in 2017 I caught a body.” White further stated that he got “him” (W.S.) half a bundle from Bruno.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Niagara County Drug Task Force and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department; the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office; the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force; the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office; Homeland Security Investigations; the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Field Division; and the Lockport Police Department.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.