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Peekskill Man Pleads Guilty In Heroin Death Of 23-Year-Old

Lakuan Rhyne, a 24-year-old Peekskill resident, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the sale of the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed Buchanan resident Thomas M. Coogan.
Lakuan Rhyne, a 24-year-old Peekskill resident, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the sale of the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed Buchanan resident Thomas M. Coogan. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Peekskill resident has admitted supplying the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed a 23-year-old Buchanan man, according to Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Lakuan Rhyne, also known as "Rico,” was the leader of a drug trafficking ring in that sold heroin, crack and cocaine in Westchester County in 2014, Bharara said.

Rhyne, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiracy Thursday in federal court in White Plains.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is significantly stronger than heroin and morphine.

“Overdose deaths from heroin and fentanyl have become tragically too frequent in many of our communities, Bharara said, adding that Rhyne’s guilty plea serves as "a reminder of the destruction that follows the heroin and fentanyl trade.”

According to the indictment, Rhyne met an associate in a parking lot of a restaurant in Peekskill where he supplied the toxic mixture that the associate sold to Thomas M. Coogan.

Coogan took it later that night and died, Bharara said. He was a sheet metal worker and a 2008 graduate of Hendrick Hudson High School.

Rhyne pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin.

He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, Bharara said.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

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