We previously covered the tragic March 2021 death of 26-year-old Julia Ghahramani, a 2020 graduate of Columbia Law School who worked as a first-year associate at Akin Gump. Prosecutors now hope to sentence Billy Ortega — the drug dealer who sold the fentanyl-laced drugs that killed Ghahramani and two other professionals in New York City — to life in prison.
In January, Ortega was convicted on one count of narcotics conspiracy resulting in death, three counts of narcotics distribution resulting in death, and one count of use and carrying of a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics conspiracy. Ortega would like to serve no more than 25 years in prison for his crimes.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for October 4.
We here at Above the Law continue to extend our condolences to Julia Ghahramani’s family, friends, and colleagues. May justice be served in her name. Click here to make a donation to the Julia Ghahramani Foundation.
Please be aware that fentanyl is being put into other drugs, increasing the likelihood for overdose and even death. Please click here to see a general resource for harm reduction for fentanyl. The two most popular and well-regarded manufacturers of fentanyl test strips are DanceSafe and BTNX (both of which were recommended by a Johns Hopkins study). Click here and here for more information and to purchase these test strips. Fentanyl test strips are affordable, quick, and easy to use.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.