A disturbing glimpse into the ravages of the opioid crisis has been revealed through the sentencing report for a 21-year-old Barrie man who now faces seven years in prison.
In his June 20 submission, Justice Jonathan Bliss goes into great detail about the circumstances surrounding the fentanyl overdoses of five users in downtown Barrie Oct. 2, 2016, and how they led to the arrest of Tony Mastromatteo.
Mastromatteo was the supplier who laced cocaine with fentanyl and sold it to a street-level dealer who sold the drugs to five people in downtown Barrie that night.
All five later overdosed in the bar district with near-fatal consequences. If it wasn’t for police and paramedics administering the anti-opioid drug Naloxone, they could have died.
“Words fail to convey the human cost of the fentanyl crisis that communities across the country, and this community in particular, are facing. To put it bluntly, people are dying,” Justice Bliss wrote.
There were 74 confirmed and four probable opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka last year.
Mastromatteo showed disregard for the ruinous impact of his high-level dealing despite the fact both his parents died from opioid use, Justice Bliss said.
“He was essentially an illicit pharmacy dispensing drugs like bullets for the buyers to play Russian roulette with.”
Mastromatteo’s Facebook page showed him adorned in oversized rings, necklaces, with grill on his teeth, holding a wad of bills like a fan, with lyrics copied from The Game’s Gucci Everything: “We got all the money, if y’all was looking for it. My life is a movie, my Gucci imported. I just do this shit for a hobby. Wearin’ all this jewelry exciting the federalies.”
“Mr. Mastromatteo wasn’t just posing as a gangsta, he acted like one.”
His cellphone, which contained hundreds of drug-dealing text messages and Facebook messenger chats, revealed the depth of his drug-dealing lifestyle to Barrie police.
Many of those messages were between Mastromatteo and the Chinese website he used to order his drugs which came to him in the mail via the United States.
“So easy was the process, and so confident was Mr. Mastromatteo in it, that he used his own name and his own address for the packages of drugs to be delivered,” the judge wrote.
Justice Bliss took Mastomatteo’s tragic upbringing into account, but said his prison sentence had to act as a deterrent to other drug dealers who profit from the opioid crisis.
“Dysfunction fails to convey the family life that he and his siblings were exposed to. It was marked by appalling parenting and tragic consequences,” he wrote.
When he was nine, Mastromatteo’s mother crashed her car while driving drunk, leaving his father a quadriplegic.
When his mother got out of jail for the offence, she continued on a destructive path of drug use.
Mastromatteo was introduced to marijuana at age seven and was smoking it regularly by the time he was 12. By fourteen he progressed to crack cocaine and then moved, as a 16 year old, to opiates and heroin.