Two men arrested on drug charges relating to Cecilia Gentili death

Two men arrested on drug charges relating to Cecilia Gentili death
By: Ladyboy Posted On: April 02, 2024 View: 151

Two men arrested on drug charges relating to Cecilia Gentili death

Cecilia Gentilia, wearing a white dress and red lipstick, poses at a red carpet event.

Two men have been arrested and charged with drug offences related to the death of trans activist and performer, Cecilia Gentili.

The trans trailblazer and actress died in February after overdosing on heroin laced with fentanyl. She was 52.

On Monday (1 April), Michael Kuilan and Antonio Venti were charged at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, with allegedly distributing fentanyl-laced heroin which, it’s claimed, caused Gentili’s death.

An unsealed indictment, along with court documents, report that police officers found Gentili dead at her home in Brooklyn after receiving a call from her partner.

Attendees of Cecilia Gentili's funeral embrace inside St Patrick's Cathedral.
Mourners at Cecilia Gentili’s funeral at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. (Getty)

Later medical reports revealed that she died due to a combination of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

The accused pair face three felony charges related to the distribution and possession of fentanyl and heroin, according to the indictment. Kuilan is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a press release by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

They are being held in custody with no date set yet for the start of the trial.

Cecilia Gentili an ‘unapologetic’ example of trans joy, activists say

News of Gentili’s death sent shockwaves across the New York LGBTQ+ community earlier this year, with thousands attending her funeral at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 15 February.

As well as her activism for LGBTQ+ rights – seen by many as an unapologetic example of trans joy – Gentili was pivotal in establishing initiatives and organisations, such as Trans Equity Consulting, while also working for not-for-profit HIV/Aids service organisation GMHC (formerly Gay Men’s Health Crisis.)

Pose star Billy Porter, who worked with Gentili on the TV series and who performed at her funeral, described her as a leader among “an entire community of people.”

“Grief is singular, it’s individual,” Porter said. “Please know that however you grieve is what’s right. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve.”

DEA agent warns of fentanyl-laced narcotics

Following news of the charges against Kuilan and Venti, New York’s Eastern District state attorney, Breaon Peace, said fentanyl poisoning remains a “public-health crisis” and that his office would “spare no effort in the pursuit of justice”.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Frank Tarentino, fentanyl poisoning, which is typically mixed into narcotics by drug dealers, accounts for 70 per cent of all drug-related deaths across the US.

“Drug poisonings take too many lives too soon from communities nationwide and [the] DEA is committed to bringing to justice those responsible,” Tarentino said.

If found guilty, Kuilan and Venti could face life in prison.

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