ALBANY, NEW YORK – Steven M. Boice, age 30, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for distributing furanyl fentanyl that caused an overdose death in Saratoga County in February 2017.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Saratoga Springs Police Department Chief Shane Crooks.
In pleading guilty in November 2019, Boice admitted that he sold controlled substances, including furanyl fentanyl, from his residence in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Early on February 3, 2017, he sold approximately 50 small envelopes, each containing furanyl fentanyl, to B.L., a Saratoga County man who overdosed and died that same day. Boice has also admitted that when B.L. arrived at his house on February 3, B.L. seemed incoherent, but Boice sold him drugs anyway. B.L. ingested some of the fentanyl while at Boice’s residence and fell down while leaving. Boice and his roommate put B.L. on their back porch in the cold air and sat with him for approximately 45 minutes, slapping him to keep him awake. B.L. “snapped back into it,” according to Boice, and left Boice’s residence. B.L. died at home later on February 3 after ingesting more fentanyl sold to him by Boice. (The roommate died months later, also due to a drug overdose.)
United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith stated: “Steven Boice did not care whether his customers lived or died. Today’s sentence holds him responsible for the avoidable and senseless death of a young man, and the daily pain and suffering of that man’s wife and parents. Heroin and fentanyl dealers should take notice that they are accountable for the overdoses of their customers, and that a 20-year prison term could be in their future.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan stated: “Too many lives were changed because of a drug transaction in Saratoga Springs. This investigation traced a drug overdose to a local drug trafficker whose actions caused a man’s death, a family’s loss, and a 20-year prison sentence. This case also emphasizes the consequences of drug trafficking and reminds traffickers that law enforcement won’t rest until those responsible are brought to justice.”
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Shane Crooks stated: “Today, thanks to the hard work of all agencies involved, Steven Boice was held accountable for his actions. While this does not remove the pain that the family of B.L. has gone through, I can only hope that it will help bring them some closure.”
On February 10, 2017 – a week after B.L.’s death – law enforcement executed a search warrant on Boice’s residence in downtown Saratoga Springs, and found furanyl fentanyl packaged for sale and 2 firearms. Boice admitted to possessing a total of 363 green-colored envelopes containing furanyl fentanyl.
Boice also admitted to possessing 2 firearms to protect his drugs and drug proceeds. When law enforcement entered his house on February 10, 2017, Boice had a loaded Mossberg Maverick shotgun, leaning against a wall of his bedroom and directly next to the door, and a loaded DPMS Panther Arms .223-5.56 mm semi-automatic rifle, under his bed.
Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe also imposed a 3-year term of supervised release, to begin after Boice’s release from prison.
This case was investigated by the DEA and its Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force; the Saratoga Springs Police Department; and the New York State Police. The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.