NEW YORK (AP) — A woman pleaded not guilty Friday to charges she supplied the fentanyl-laced drug that caused the fatal overdose of a man whose body was found in a New York City motel — one of three deaths linked to her, including that of an Italian chef at an upscale restaurant.
Angelina Barini entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn after prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging her in the death of a man it didn't name. News reports have identified him as Jean-Alessander Silvero.
Authorities say the victim was found July 11 in a motel room in Queens where security video from earlier that day captured a woman who appeared to be Barini, 41, and the man entering the location together.
After Baraini was arrested, authorities say, she claimed she didn't know what narcotic she had brought along with her but told him it was cocaine before he snorted two or three lines.
The medical examiner ended up finding the cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl.
Defense attorney Mildred Whalen and prosecutors told a magistrate judge Friday that they are negotiating a plea. Whalen didn't speak to reporters as she left court.
A criminal complaint that brought initial drug charges against Barini last month links her to two other overdose deaths. One of those victims was Andrea Zamperoni, an Italian chef for a restaurant in Grand Central Terminal that's part of the renowned Cipriani chain.
The complaint alleges Barini told investigators that she was a prostitute and that she had given Zamperoni liquid ecstasy after they went to another Queens motel together in August. It says she described not being able to wake the victim after finding him bleeding from the nose and mouth.
Barini told investigators that her pimp, labeled a co-conspirator in the complaint, wouldn't let her call the police and talked about trying to dispose of the body, the court papers say. She said a second co-conspirator had supplied the drugs, they add.
The medical examiner announced Friday that Zamperoni died from a combination of alcohol, cocaine and GHB, a sedative used to treat narcolepsy but also often used as a recreational drug.
Authorities say an investigation could result in more arrests.
Barini is being held without bail and is due back in court on Oct. 7.