A Queens woman previously charged with causing the overdose death of a man has been charged with another overdose death, prosecutors say.
Angelina Barini, 41, is named in an indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn. She is charged with providing fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine to a 60-year-old College Point man that caused his death on August 5, prosecutors say.
Barini was arrested by Department of Homeland Security agents and the NYPD on August 25 and has been linked to the deaths of at least three men since July, court papers say.
“The defendant Angelina Barini now stands charged with dispensing deadly doses of narcotic drugs to two victims,” US Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said. “Every life lost to the opioid crisis is of utmost importance to this office.”
Barini appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon. Her attorney, Mildred Whalen, entered a not guilty plea for all three counts
A message left with Barini’s attorney was not immediately returned. The next court date has been set for November 21.
Barini was previously charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl that prompted the deadly overdose of a man in a Woodside motel room July 11.
Video surveillance from earlier that day captured a woman, who appeared to be Barini, and the unidentified victim walking into the motel together. Prior to her August arrest, Barini admitted to law enforcement that she had given the man drugs, the indictment alleges. The medical examiner's office determined that fentanyl intoxication is what killed him.
The previous indictment charged her in connection with only that one case; she faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charges in that indictment. Another of the cases to which Barini is allegedly connected involves a body discovered at the Kamway Lodge in Elmhurst on Aug. 21, the same place and day where once-missing Grand Central head chef Andrea Zamperoni was found dead.
A criminal complaint does not name the men, referring to them only as John Doe 1, John Doe 2 and John Doe 3, and outlines an alleged scheme by Barini and others to distribute fentanyl-laced drugs. According to the complaint, agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations and other law enforcement members had been investigating several lethal drug overdoses in New York City hotel rooms between July and August 2019.
Barini was linked to at least three of the cases. The most recent one was Aug. 21, the day Zamperoni's body was found. The complaint describes "John Doe 3" as a man who had been reported missing, which Zamperoni had been days earlier. Barini was the woman who opened the door when investigators knocked on the door at Kamway Lodge that day; she quickly shut it, but the complaint says officers smelled a scent consistent with a dead body, along with burning incense, and questioned her. According to the complaint, law enforcement authorities saw what appeared to be a garbage can with bed linens stuffed inside and what appeared to be a bare human foot sticking out.
Barini allegedly told officers she "didn't do it, her pimp made her do it and it was not her," according to the complaint. The victim in that case was a 33-year-old man from Italy, the same age and origin as Zamperoni.
Cellphones, clothing, a glass pipe commonly used to smoke drugs and an American Express credit card bearing John Doe 3's name were found in the room, the complaint says. Also found: bottles of bleach and bleach-covered towels, electronics, a power saw and an empty suitcase, the complaint says.
Barini told authorities she had met the man from Italy three days earlier and they went to the lodge, where he paid her for sex; she said he didn't wake up and was bleeding from the nose and mouth, telling authorities her pimp wouldn't let her call authorities, the complaint says. She also allegedly told investigators the body was wrapped in a garbage bag and her alleged associates, who would sometimes take property of victims once they were drugged, came into the room to talk about whether to cut up the body.
While she initially denied that she gave John Doe 3 drugs, the complaint says she later admitted one of her alleged co-conspirators gave him "liquid ecstasy." She also allegedly confessed to giving clients drugs, supplied by her alleged co-conspirators, on occasion, according to the federal complaint.
The medical examiner ruled that Zamperoni died of accidental intoxication from alcohol, cocaine and another substance that was likely fentanyl.
The other victim, John Doe 1, who was discovered at East Elmhurst's Airway Inn at LaGuardia earlier in August, died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint, the criminal complaint said. Video surveillance in that case showed a woman who appeared to be Barini leaving the hotel shortly before the body was discovered.