Frank DeGaetano, 29, and his drug-dealing crew were busted in February for selling heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl on Staten Island, including on school grounds, according to the Staten Island District Attorney’s office.
On Sunday, two weeks away from his sentencing hearing for the crime – and less than two years after his pregnant fiancée died of a drug overdose – DeGaetano nearly died taking the same drug.
Police sources said Tuesday that DeGaetano admitted to overdosing on two bags of heroin. He was at his mother’s home in Arden Heights when he took the near-fatal dose at about 12:45 a.m. Sunday, the New York Daily News reports.
First responders revived DeGaetano with two doses of naloxone and rushed him to Staten Island University Hospital South, where he is expected to survive.
“He’s doing good,” DeGaetano’s father said, answering the door at the family’s home Tuesday night. Moments later, DeGaetano’s mother emerged and said, “No comment.”
The former dealer faces three-years behind bars at his sentencing on Dec. 6. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 25 to felony drug-selling charges. The investigation into DeGaetano and his crew followed the death of DeGaetano’s fiancée, Sharissa Turk, who overdosed while she was 8-months pregnant, in March of 2016. She was 25-years old.
Turk initially made headlines in 2012, after appearing in a video wearing blue fairy wings. She blew crushed powder at the camera and danced to the song “My World Is So Blue” by the Staten Island rap group White Trash Clan (see below). Turk’s performance left her with the nickname, “Blue Fairy.”
Gerard Kelly, 32, one of the rappers in the video, also fatally overdosed approximately 7-months before Turk overdosed.
In May 2016, DeGaetano talked about his fiancée in a heartfelt interview with New York 1:
“I was hysterical crying, and my hands were shaking like this,” he recalled.
DeGaetano discovered Turk unconscious in their Jefferson Boulevard apartment on March 1, 2016. He says she was carrying their baby girl, who was due one month later.
Police say Turk died from an apparent drug overdose.
“I found Xanax pills next to her and a bag of heroin when I found her dead by the stairs,” said DeGaetano.
“She tried to stop on her own, she was doing good for a while and then she started back up,” he said. “That’s why we told the doctor what was going on, so the doctor would help us so we wouldn’t lose the baby.”
In an interview with the Advance (see below), DeGaetano spoke openly about their life together, Turk’s drug use and her role as the “Blue Fairy.” He said Turk was scheduled to start an inpatient drug program the day she passed away.
The Staten Island Overdose Response Initiative follows overdose deaths to root out the dealers who supplied them. Turk’s death led to an investigation dubbed “Operation Blue Angel.” Police busted five dealers at the conclusion of the investigation, including DeGaetano. Prosecutors said DeGaetano transported heroin and fentanyl into Staten Island from New Jersey.
“This take down puts a crimp in the pipeline of heroin and fentanyl being funneled into Staten Island,” District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said in a statement at the time.