Woman who mailed fatal heroin dose to friend gets 6 years in prison

Updated 5/3/2017 7:30 PM
  • Amanda Guarneri

    Amanda Guarneri

A New York woman was sentenced Wednesday to six years in Illinois prison for mailing a fatal does of heroin to a friend who was staying in a Darien hotel.

Amanda Guarneri, 25, of Farmingville, pleaded guilty in late March to drug-induced homicide.

Guarneri was extradited to DuPage after she was charged in the August 2016 death of Dane Carver, a 26-year-old New Jersey man.

Assistant State's Attorney Claudia Fantauzzo said Carver was found dead in the hotel he was staying at while working in the area. She said Carver texted Guarneri, a longtime friend and fellow addict, asking her to send him heroin.

Fantauzzo said Guarneri offered to also send marijuana, but Carver warned the smell would be detected through the mail and declined.

"He was in Illinois for work," she said. "He didn't know he could get in his car, drive five miles and buy heroin himself."

She said Guarneri mailed Carver heroin that was laced with fentanyl and sent him a text message indicating the heroin was "strong," likely contained the narcotic fentanyl, and nearly caused her and a friend to overdose when they tried it.

Guarneri's attorney, Terry Ekl, argued for the minimum six-year sentence, calling the "casual delivery from one drug addict to another" a "terrible tragedy."

"It's difficult for us to understand, but Amanda thought she was doing her friend a favor," Ekl told Judge Liam Brennan. "Hopefully the memory of Dane will be the catalyst for Amanda to beat her own addiction, which she has battled for several years."

Guarneri told Brennan she made a "poor choice but not a malicious one" when she mailed the heroin to Carver. She apologized to both her family and Carver's family.

Brennan imposed the minimum sentence, saying it was "unfair" to label Guarneri a drug dealer. He sad he had read a letter written by Carver's mother pleading for leniency for her son's friend.

"She (Guarneri) has to live the rest of her life knowing she caused the death of a good friend," Brennan said. "I do believe that is a sentence more powerful than any I can impose."

Guarneri has been held on $750,000 bail since her Nov. 1 arrest and must serve 75 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

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