STAPLETON, Staten Island - A woman on Staten Island was among a group arrested this past week after she was accused of selling drugs at a middle school.
Police said Amanda Dimarinis is a paraprofessional at I.S. 49 in Stapleton who was caught selling fentanyl during her lunch break.
She was arrested in a large Staten Island sweep, along with 28-year-old accused distributor Frank DeGaetano and 28-year-old Jessica Chaikin, who is accused of transporting heroin and fentanyl over the Outerbridge Crossing to neighborhoods on Staten Island. Chaikin also was indicted on criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to court records.
Amanda Gavrity, 25, an accused distributor, and Dylan Lopez, 27, an accused dealer, also were arrested.
Here are mugshots of all five suspects:
About 400 glassines of heroin and $11,000 in cash were seized during the arrests.
New York City Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill personally announced the arrests at a community meeting Tuesday night on Staten Island, where drug overdoses have been responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths and have become a major law enforcement concern.
The illegal activity is said to be part of a now busted drug-dealing network that spanned from Edison Township, N.J., to Staten Island. The group was arrested during the drug takedown as part of Operation Blue Angel.
The investigation was spurred by the death of Sharissa Turk, who was eight months pregnant when she died in March 2016 of an overdose in her Annadale apartment. Turk performed as the "Blue Fairy" in a music video about prescription drug abuse in 2013. The video went viral after Turk pleaded guilty to felony drug charges.
Watch the video here (WARNING: Video contains profanity):
Her death was investigated as a crime scene in an attempt to trace the drugs that killed her, as part of the Overdose Response Initiative spearheaded by McMahon.
The operation led police, in part, to DeGaetano, Turk's ex-fiance.