A "merchant of death" confessed he sold heroin which led to the deaths of a 29-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman in the Hudson Valley.

On Wednesday, in Northern District of New York Court, 32-year-old Jacob Ebel of Niverville pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and possession charges and admitted that he distributed heroin and fentanyl that led to two deaths in Columbia County.

“Jacob Ebel was a merchant of death whose heroin and fentanyl killed two people in less than three weeks," United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith said. "Ebel is being held responsible for his crimes and the pain and suffering he inflicted on two families. We will continue to pursue those who peddle this poison, while also maintaining our robust education and outreach efforts aimed at turning the tide of opiate addiction.”

In pleading guilty, Ebel admitted to selling heroin, fentanyl and other controlled substances, from 2014 through July 26, 2016, in Columbia County.

He also confessed to selling heroin and fentanyl that led to the overdose deaths of a 29-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman from Columbia County in 2019.

The 29-year-old died on July 3, 2016. He was friends with Ebel. Despite knowing the man died, Eble continued selling heroin and fentanyl, officials say. The teen died on July 23, 2016, after Ebel sold the drugs to her husband.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Ebel’s house in the early morning hours of July 26, 2016. Investigators seized about 16 grams of heroin and fentanyl that Ebel intended to sell, officials say.

“There should be zero tolerance for those who peddle poison on our streets. These dealers are killers and we will continue to work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to bring them to justice for their heinous behavior," Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said.

He agreed to be sentenced to 18 years in prison. If the judge does not agree with an 18-year sentence, Ebel would be allowed to withdraw his plea and the case would proceed to trial.

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