Yavapai County Narcotics Taskforce Arrest Drug Dealer Suspect in New York

The Partners Against Narcotic Trafficking (PANT), the multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency task force has arrested a suspect in the first Yavapai County case of holding a drug dealer responsible for the death of someone to whom he sold drugs.

Filippo Alviano, 38 years old, was arrested by Yavapai County detectives on December 7th in New York State after the suspect fled across the country in October 2021. Alviano is being charged with negligent manslaughter and Sale/Transfer of narcotic drugs for sale as part of the unfortunate death of 28-year old Trevor Rauch. Trevor died of a fentanyl overdose on August 3rd, 2021, after being given the narcotic by the suspect.

The story of Trevor’s death is heartbreaking in its preventability, but the story of how the suspect was identified, tracked, and arrested 3000 miles away by PANT detectives is one of dedication and skill. The fentanyl problem has taken the country by storm and is unlike anything else law enforcement, treatment centers and healthcare providers have ever seen. The potency of this drug is such that it can trigger an overdose the first time a person takes it, with only a small amount necessary to cause a death. It may not have been the first time that Trevor Rauch had taken fentanyl, also referred to on the street as “blues” due to the color of the pill, but he did in fact fall victim to a virulent dose that his drug dealer, the suspect, appeared to be quite aware.

On August 2nd, 2021, at 7:40 pm, Trevor texted the suspect Alviano saying he had been kicked out of his rehab center and was just wandering the streets. He said he was going to be sleeping outside so asked if the dealer had any “blues.”  Alviano responded that he did have a few but they “are very strong” and admitted “I’m not gonna lie I’m nervous to get u one of these apparently are the real deal strong.” The two continued to text until 11:17 pm when they met at the dealer’s home on Hillside Ave in Prescott for the buy.

The investigation shows that Trevor left the dealer’s home and was later seen on surveillance video at a nearby Circle K on Willow Creek Rd going into the restroom at 11:49 pm. The Prescott Police Department were called to the Circle K at 2:40 am with a report of an unresponsive male in the restroom. The male was later identified as Trevor Rauch. Later that morning PANT detectives were contacted by Prescott PD to say they had a suspected fatal overdose and turned the investigation over to the taskforce.

Through investigation techniques such as cell phone data analysis, the dealer was identified based on the timing of the messages and GPS location information. Once the Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death as “fentanyl intoxication”, PANT, utilizing the taskforce’s first Homicide Overdose Investigator, conducted inquiries into the suspect through review of evidence from the overdose scene, search warrants for review of social media and cell phone data, and old-fashioned surveillance methods.

This process took several months due to response times from social media platforms, cell phone companies and to ensure every detail was confirmed. PANT was able to determine using GPS and cell phone records that Alviano had left Yavapai County and fled to New York State in October 2021.

PANT contacted the Suffolk County Police Department to alert them to that the suspect was in their jurisdiction, and to let them know they would be seeking assistance in locating Alviano as the investigation continued. Over the next year, the PANT Overdose Homicide Detective worked diligently to obtain a grand jury indictment of Alviano after an extensive investigation into the details leading up to the death of Trevor Rauch, never giving up on bringing the dealer back to Yavapai County to face the consequences of his actions.

Last Wednesday December 7th, 2022, the persistence paid off. With an arrest warrant in hand, PANT detectives flew to New York and Suffolk County PD assisted in detaining Alviano on the nationwide arrest warrant.

The dealer was booked into the Suffolk County jail under the Yavapai County charges and is being held until his extradition back to Arizona and a subsequent trial.

The unique nature of this case is that it is the first time in Yavapai County that a suspect is being charged with manslaughter in an overdose death stemming from dealing drugs to the deceased. The charge is not one taken lightly by law enforcement or prosecuting attorneys. The depth and breadth of the investigation, as evidenced by the length of time prior to the arrest, hopes to show that the dealer was aware of the potency and potential lethal nature of the drugs he gave to the victim.

“As much as known about the dangers of fentanyl, there is no grace for those who knowingly sell it to others” said Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes. “I want to thank the Suffolk County Police Department for their assistance in this case, and value the time they put into helping PANT bring Alviano to justice.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out for help. Community resources can be found on the YCSO website at Find Mental Health/Substance Abuse Resources YCSOAZ.gov