A City Island man was arrested and charged with selling drugs that led to the overdose of two area residents, according to police.
Frankie Beqiraj, 27, was indicted Thursday, June 1 on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and alprazolam.
The indictment alleges that heroin distributed by Beqiraj and his unnamed co-conspirators resulted in the death of 25-year-old Robert Vivolo of City Island on October 21, 2016.
He was arrested Thursday, May 1 at his home at 30 Pilot Street.
Beqiraj was also charged in connection with the overdose death of Leonides Madrid of New Rochelle on January 8, 2017.
Beqiraj appeared in federal court in Manhattan and was taken into custody.
If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“Frankie Beqiraj worked with others to sell a whole range of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and alprazolam,” stated Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim. “As alleged, two young people are dead, victims of Beqiraj’s alleged heroin dealing and of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the country.”
Kim credited the NYPD, the New Rochelle Police Department and the Westchester County District Attorney for assisting in the arrest.
Beqiraj has a long history on criminal activity on City Island and elsewhere.
He was arrested twice for disorderly conduct in 2008 and again in April of 2009 in Throggs Neck.
He served several days in jail for the latter offense.
He was then arrested twice within a month in May of 2009, once for assault and then for a assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, trespassing, possession of a weapon and selling marijuana, according to Bronx Times archives.
NYS Department of Corrections records show Beqiraj was convicted in 2010 of second and third-degree attempted robbery, D and E felonies, respectively.
He served time at the Willard Drug Treatment Campus in upstate Seneca County.
Longtime City Island resident John Doyle said Beqiraj, who he said he barely knew from school, had been the topic of concern from residents for years due to complaints about alleged drug dealing outside his apartment complex.
“He seemed to have a troubled path in life, unfortunately,” Doyle said
Beqiraj is the second person charged in connection with Vivolo’s death.
Fabrice Diaz, 24, was arrested on Friday, February 3 and charged with selling heroin to Vivolo.
Diaz had been arrested a month earlier in New Rochelle in possession of 17 envelopes of heroin, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The indictment comes on the heels of two separate DOJ indictments on Wednesday, May 31 involving 25 defendants for a litany of charges involving narcotics, firearms and robbery.
The arrests, made with the assistance of other federal agencies including ICE and the Bronx DA’s office.
Twenty-one of the defendants were indicted in association with a drug distribution organization operating primarily in Hunts Point.