2 Men Arrested in Fentanyl Death of ‘Pose’ Star Cecilia Gentili

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection to the death of “Pose” actress and transgender activist Cecilia Gentili.

“Cecilia Gentili, a prominent activist and leader of the New York transgender community was tragically poisoned in her Brooklyn home from fentanyl-laced heroin,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement on Monday. “Today, the alleged perpetrators who sold the deadly dose of drugs to Gentili have been arrested.”

Peace added, “Fentanyl is a public health crisis. Our office will spare no effort in the pursuit of justice for the many New Yorkers who have lost loved ones due to this lethal drug.”

Two men, Michael Kuilan and Antonio Venti, have been charged with distrbuting the heroin and fentanyl that caused Gentili’s death. Gentili’s longtime partner found her body in her bedroom on Feb. 6. Officials said her death was caused by a combination of “fentanyl, heroin, xylazine and cocaine.”

“Today’s indictment delivers a strong message to anyone who profits from poisoning our communities with illicit drugs: There are dedicated investigators, across multiple agencies, working tirelessly to disrupt your shameful industry by pinpointing the source of these unlawful substances,” NYPD commissioner Edward A. Caban said. “It is imperative that we continue to hold distributors accountable for their callous actions. I commend the NYPD’s partners at the DEA and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for their ongoing commitment to this critical mission.”

According to obtained text messages, cell site data and other evidence, Venti sold Gentili the mixture of drugs on Feb. 5 and Kuilan gave Venti the narcotics. After searching Kuilan’s apartment, authorities found “hundreds of baggies of fentanyl, a handgun and ammunition.”

Kuilan was charged with unlawful gun possession, and both men are currently in custody and set to be arraigned Monday.

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