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Astoria man busted for selling Fentanyl, investigation launched following overdoses

July 25, 2017 By Jason Cohen

An Astoria man faces multiple charges for allegedly possessing and selling narcotics laced with Fentanyl.

Bernard Lewis, 45, was caught as part of a long-term narcotics investigation that led to several arrests and included the use of court-authorized wiretaps. The investigation was launched following two non-fatal overdoses.

Lewis, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office, allegedly had telephone conversations between April 6 and June 17 with six individuals who asked to purchase narcotics from him.

Lewis, or one of his associates, would then drop off the drugs for cash after each call, according to the District Attorney’s Office. In each case, the buyer was arrested and the drugs seized. The drugs were chemically analyzed, which confirmed the presence of Fentanyl.

On Friday, Lewis was arraigned and was ordered held without bail.

Lewis was charged in a 15-count criminal complaint, including one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and six counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Lewis’ wife, Catrice Brown, was also caught up in the investigation. She was charged with several counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, among other charges. She faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown said the investigation was launched in response to the increased number of drug overdoses in Queens and New York City in recent times.

According to data from the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there were more than 1,300 fatal overdoses in New York City in 2016, a nearly 40 percent increase from the previous year, and approximately half of the drug overdoses in the last six months of 2016 involved Fentanyl.

“Heroin, unfortunately, has made a deadly comeback in New York City and in the surrounding suburbs,” Brown said. “Over the past six and a half months, Queens has had 81 fatal overdoses – far exceeding the number of homicides and vehicular deaths that have occurred in the borough so far this year.”

In one drug deal, Lewis allegedly received a phone call May 9 from an associate, Hubert Harris, 66, of Corona, who said he needed to get a supply of narcotics. Approximately an hour later, Harris allegedly arrived on a bicycle at Lewis’ home and spent approximately 45 minutes inside before exiting.

Harris was then arrested shortly after he left Lewis’ home while riding his bike on the corner of 41 Road and 12th Street. Police allegedly recovered 98 white glassine envelopes, which contained a mixture of Fentanyl and heroin.

Harris faces up to 12 years in prison and remains in jail in lieu of his bail.

Lewis implicated himself in his drug dealing when he received a prison call from Harris and they discussed bailing him out, according to the District Attorney’s office.

“If I use a bondsman they are going to want know where the money came from. I can’t do that,” Lewis allegedly said. Harris allegedly replied that the bail was so high because the drugs he was charged with selling were Fentanyl, and that Fentanyl was killing people.

In response, Lewis allegedly stated that he should have got Harris underwear with a hidden pocket to hide the drugs.

The police searched Lewis’ home on July 19, and allegedly recovered one large rock of Fentanyl, a box containing numerous empty glassine envelopes commonly used to package Fentanyl and heroin; two large plastic bags containing more than 750 glassine envelopes containing Fentanyl inside a shoe box in the hall closet; and $2,900 in cash.

Lewis’ next court date is Aug. 4.

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14 Comments

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Spell Check

>”busted for selling Fentanly”

How can you misspell a word in the TITLE?! If you want to learn how to spell it correctly, you can read the first sentence of the article…

Reply
Alcatraz, Astoria ny

This area is horrible for decades. What kind of name is
cat rice brown and how come she don’t have the same last name as her husband? What is Hubert davis story? 66 years old and selling little bags of drugs on a bicycle. Sicko. Whats wrong with these folks

Reply
your neighbor

Agreed, can’t the Astoria Post make that small piece of information available? Is these people from Ditmars-Astoria, Broadway-Astoria, 49 St-Astoria, 11 St-Astoria? Near a local school?

Give us a clue astoriapost.com.

Reply
gia

What difference does it make! You speak as if Astoria has gated communities or separated by walls. People are free to come and go. Things like this can happen in any block in any area. Astoria is a very social and economically diverse community. One person is paying high rent and your neighbor across the street is living off rent vouchers from the city. Ride a bike or take a walk and look beyond your doorstep.

Reply
your neighbor

Hi GIA, I do ride a bike and travel far from my doorstep thank you very much.

Key piece of information missing from the article. Astoria is big, would be nice to know where the drug dealers and other felons are living these days – especially if it is near somewhere that kids congregate. I’m sure you realize that drug dealers not only bring drugs to a location but also weapons and violence.

Astoria is generally a nice area, it would be nice to know where to be more vigilant if these drug dealers live somewhere unexpected. Leaving out the address just makes most people believe that these people live in the projects. Perhaps your own political correctness doesn’t want to hear about it.

Reply
gia

No one knows for sure what people in your building or your neighbors are doing. And just because an address is posted in a crime article that doesn’t mean it can never happen to you or your block. Labeling areas and blocks of Astoria is a thing of the past. I can walk, jog, bike and drive passing each Ave and Street in Astoria in a very short time (its not that big) and I find a mixture of people and housing all in the same area. Astoria is a commercial neighborhood with homes, buildings, subsidized housing and close to transportation. This “I need an address” so that you could know “where the drug dealers and other felons are living these days” is so naive and outdated. These types of incidents can occur right under your nose and you wouldn’t even know it. BTW, not all crime in Astoria is being reported by the news. Ask around and notice how many homeowners and buildings have installed security cameras and home security systems because of what they seen and heard. Thank you.

gabriel

This month, AP reported two robberies during the day on very busy Avenues in Astoria. One elderly man was pushed to the ground and robbed and the other was punched in the face and robbed. The first happened on Broadway and the second on 30th Ave. There were also incidents of stores being robbed on Steinway back in June if you search this site. Many crimes do not get picked up by the news. Those of us who care about safety and quality of life issues more than potential rental profits and home sales know exactly what is going on.

Reply
wube

This was all over the news. Glad they caught these criminals. I’ve had it with all the negativity about Astoria in the news.

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