Bryan Hale at his arraignment in Suffolk County Criminal Court in March 2019. Photo: James Carbone

A Flanders man accused of allowing two other men to sell drugs out of his Riverhead auto repair shop, resulting in the death of a Riverhead man who overdosed on their fentanyl-laced heroin, has been sentenced in Suffolk County Criminal Court.

Bryan Hale, 53, of Flanders, was facing five felony counts under a March 8, 2019 indictment that also charged John Brophy, 49, of Riverhead and LsShawn Lawrence, 35, of Greenport, with manslaughter and drug sale charges in the September 2018 overdose death of a man in Riverhead.

Hale allowed Brophy and Lawrence to sell drugs out of his auto repair shop at 500 Lincoln Street, according to Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini.

Hale pleaded guilty on Aug. 9 to one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (narcotic drug), Criminal Possession of a Firearm; and Attempted Criminal Nuisance in the First Degree.

He was sentenced on Jan. 31 to three years in prison with one-and-a-half years of post-release supervision on the drug charge, one-and-a-half to three years in prison on the weapon charge, and one year on the nuisance charge. The sentences will run concurrently — rather than consecutively — so he is facing a maximum of three years in prison.

Hale is currently in custody at Downstate Correctional Facility, a maximum security facility in Fishkill, New York, according to State Department of Corrections online records.

Defendant John Brophy, right, at his arraignment in Riverhead March 11, 2019. Photo: James Carbone

Brophy pleaded guilty on Aug. 30 to Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a C felony, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony. In October, he was sentenced to four to six years in prison. He is currently housed in Franklin Correctional Facility, a medium security prison in upstate Malone, Franklin County.

Brophy’s conviction marked only the third conviction in Suffolk County history of a drug dealer on a manslaughter charge for causing a fatal overdose.

Lashawn Lawrence, right, at his arraignment in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on March 11., 2019. Photo: James Carbone

Lawrence, 36, was convicted after a bench trial on Sept. 12 of conspiring with Brophy to sell heroin cut with fentanyl to Lawrence Yaccarino, 50, who suffered a fatal overdose at a home on Sweezy Avenue on Sept. 19, 2018. He was sentenced in October to two to four years in prison and is currently in custody at Altona Correctional Facility in Altona, Clinton County, New York.

Prosecutors said Brophy and Lawrence sold heroin laced with fentanyl and were aware of the lethal nature of the mixture when they sold it to Yaccarino, because Brophy had to use Narcan on one of his customers not long before Yaccarino died.

East End Drug Task Force investigators confiscated Brophy’s cell phone when they executed a search warrant and recovered text messages between him and Lawrence discussing the potency of the heroin/fentanyl mix.

All three men had prior criminal histories. Hale was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in 1997 in the death of a female swimmer struck by a boat Hale was operating while impaired. In 2000 he was convicted on a felony drug charge and served additional time in a state penitentiary. He has three additional misdemeanor convictions. Hale was charged in 2012 following a previous East End Drug Task Force investigation, which led to his arrest on criminal sale of a controlled substance from his auto repair shop at 500 Lincoln Street. The shop is less than a mile away from two schools, Pulaski Street Elementary School and St. John Paul II (formerly St. Isidore’s) elementary school.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.