Special Economic Envoy of Antigua and Barbuda Robert De Niro and his family may be closer to receiving justice after the death of his 19-year-old grandson.
On Friday 20-year-old Sofia Haley Marks was arrested on federal narcotics charges and is accused of selling the drugs that led to the death of Leandro De Niro Rodriguez.
Robert De Niro said after Rodriguez’s death that he was “deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo.”
Law enforcement in the United States said the young woman appeared in Manhattan federal court on Friday and “agreed to remain behind bars until she requests bail at a later date”.
Prosecutors said they would oppose a request for her release.
The woman was arrested Thursday evening on three counts of narcotics distribution stemming from the sale of drugs to Rodriguez.
When the young man was found dead, his mother, Drena De Niro used the social media platform Instagram to make the announcement
Damian Williams, a U.S. Attorney said “at least one of the fake oxycodone pills sold by Marks was taken by a teenager who subsequently died of a suspected overdose.”
He said the arrest “was critical because, as we allege, Marks knew the pills could kill, and she continued selling them anyway.”
Fentanyl was now the primary killer of Americans from ages 18 to 49. An estimated 109,680 people died from drug overdoses in 2022, including about 75,000 from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, according to the prosecutors.
“More than cancer, car accidents, or gun violence. It is a law enforcement crisis and a public health crisis. And we are doing everything we can to stop it,” he said.
Rodriguez was the oldest child of Drena De Niro and artist Carlos Mare.
Rodriguez was also an actor like his grandfather, who had appeared with his mother in projects including Bradley Cooper’s 2018 remake of “A Star is Born.”