PATCHOGUE, NY – A Patchogue resident has pleaded guilty to charges of selling fentanyl to an undercover officer and possessing a firearm, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. The defendant, Randheer Shewprashad, 25, of Patchogue, admitted to second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon.
The undercover operation took place between March and April 2023, during which plain clothes officers purchased both cocaine and fentanyl from Shewprashad on two separate occasions. On May 4, 2023, Shewprashad was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his Patchogue residence. Authorities discovered cocaine, fentanyl, and two semi-automatic handguns during the search.
Shewprashad had previously pleaded guilty in June 2023 to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of a weapon. As part of the plea agreement, he was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
While awaiting sentencing on these charges, Shewprashad continued his illegal activities. Between October and November 2023, undercover officers from the police and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) purchased cocaine and fentanyl from him on three separate occasions. As a result, Shewprashad was arrested on November 21, 2023.
During the subsequent search of his Mastic residence, another semi-automatic firearm was discovered. Further investigation led to the execution of a search warrant at Shewprashad’s Patchogue residence, where law enforcement recovered cocaine and fentanyl mixed with xylazine. Xylazine, commonly known as “Tranq,” is a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer that is not approved for human use. It has increasingly been found in illegal drugs, particularly in combination with fentanyl, and has been linked to overdose deaths.
Currently, xylazine is not illegal or restricted in New York. However, District Attorney Tierney is advocating for legislation that would make it illegal. Shewprashad’s plea agreement includes a determinate sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of post-release supervision. The previous sentences will run consecutively, resulting in a total of ten years in prison followed by eight years of post-release supervision.
District Attorney Tierney emphasized the dangers of the illicit drug trade, noting that many dealers carry weapons to protect themselves, their profits, and their product. He expressed disappointment that even a pending sentence did not deter Shewprashad from continuing his criminal activities.
DEA Special Agent-In-Charge Frank Tarentino emphasized the deadly consequences of drug trafficking, particularly the use of fentanyl and firearms. He commended the collaborative efforts of the undercover officers, DEA’s Long Island District Office, Suffolk County Police Department, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in conducting the investigation.
Shewprashad’s attorney, Matthew Rosenblum, acknowledged his client’s mistakes and described the case as “heart-wrenching.” However, he declined to provide further details and expressed confidence that Shewprashad would become a productive member of society after serving his sentence.
Shewprashad is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on March 13.