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Poughkeepsie Dealer Draws 12-Year Sentence After Heroin Deaths

Five local residents were indicted for mortgage fraud Thursday at the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains.
Five local residents were indicted for mortgage fraud Thursday at the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains. Photo Credit: Goggle Maps

A 59-year-old heroin dealer who sold the drug in and around Poughkeepsie was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday in White Plains Federal Court, according to Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Roosevelt "Mumsie" Williams sold heroin that resulted in at least four fatal and four non-fatal overdoses between October 2015 and December 2015, according to Bharara.

“Roosevelt Williams sold what became notorious in and around Poughkeepsie as a highly potent brand of heroin," Bharara said in a statement, "and even as overdoses from Williams’s heroin grew, he continued to sell.

"For his cold-hearted drug dealing that contributed to the devastation of heroin abuse in our communities, the Court has handed down a stiff sentence of 12 years in prison. We hope this prosecution gives some measure of closure and comfort for the victims’ families, and we thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and our many local law enforcement partners for their extraordinary efforts on this case.”

Over the course of several months, Williams and co-defendant, 58-year-old Tony Reynolds, conspired to sell significant quantities of a highly potent brand of heroin, dubbed “Empire” by a stamp on each bag sold, which had a devastating impact on users in and around Poughkeepsie, Bharara said.

The Empire brand became notorious among heroin users in the area as being particularly strong and posing a high risk of overdose, according to Bharara. Even as this reputation and the number of overdoses grew, the defendants continued to sell significant quantities of Empire heroin virtually every day, Bharara said.

Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the Dutchess County Drug Task Force.

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