Drug dealer convicted in overdose death of woman to whom he sold drugs
Rochester/Gates, N.Y. (WHAM) - A new precedent was set in Monroe County Thursday morning as a drug dealer pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the death of a woman he sold drugs to.
31-year-old Dominic Hobbs was charged in May for selling a deadly dose of heroin to 41-year-old Gates woman, Tara Miles. She died April 7 in her home. Miles' family agreed with police to keep her death quiet for 48 hours while they investigated the dealer.
Officers set up undercover operation and bought cocaine and heroin the following day from Hobbs.
On Thursday morning, Hobbs pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and criminal possession of a control substance .
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley spoke passionately about the case.
"All of you drug dealers out there, if you're selling heroin and fentanyl and people are dying, guess what? You're going to be in the same position and we're coming after you," Doorley said. "So this is just the beginning."
She and Gates town leaders, including the police chief and town supervisor, said this case is a major victory.
"Our team did a great job at the scene, collecting evidence that immediately took us to the individual that sold that fatal dose," Chief James VanBrederode told 13WHAM News. "If you're selling this stuff, you have seen the news by now - you're selling poison."
Town Supervisor Mark Assini also spoke passionately after the guilty pleas.
"You have killed our family members, you continue to kill our family members," Assini said. "We are coming for you. We will use every weapon we have - our district attorneys, our police departments - we will hunt you down, will be find you, we will put you away. Do not sell poison on our streets and kill our families," Assini continued.
Hobbs' lawyer, Michael Schiano, said the guilty pleas showed his client takes responsibility for his actions.
"I think you can tell by his demeanor, he accepted responsibility for what he did," Schiano said. "He was contrite with the judge."
Prosecutor Greg Clark said the district attorney's office is committed to finding and prosecuting drug dealers.
"Heroin, fentanyl and narcotics are an epidemic here, and we're doing everything we can to try to fight the epidemic," Clark said. "We want the community to know we're fighting this epidemic as hard as we can."
Doorley added this is just the beginning of a new way overdose death cases are handled by police and by the courts.
"This is why this case is so important going forward," Doorley said. "Our goal is to go forward and charge those who put this poison into our community and kill people, charge them with homicide. This is just the beginning."
Judge Randall denied a request to allow 13WHAM News cameras in court, citing among other things, a "lack of public interest" in the case.
Hobbs is scheduled to be sentenced on December 19 at 2 p.m. He's looking at two four-year sentences which would run concurrently.