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New York City Woman Arrested in Connection With Drug Death of Robert De Niro’s Grandson

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A Manhattan woman dubbed the “Percocet Princess” by narcotics investigators appeared in a federal courtroom Friday (July 14), charged with selling fentanyl-laced drugs to Robert De Niro’s grandson days before he was found dead in his million-dollar Manhattan apartment.

A federal law enforcement official told Los Angeles that Leandro De Niro, 19, allegedly purchased counterfeit Oxycodone, a blue pill stamped with the number 30 that sell as “blues” or “thirties” on the street, from 20-year-old Sofia Haley Marks.

After Leandro paid her $105, Marks delivered three pills via car service at a drop location near her parents’ Midtown co-op on July 1, investigators said. His lifeless body was found in his Wall Street one-bedroom the next day—a devastating blow to his grandfather, who previously released a statement to the press stating that he was, “‘deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo.”

“We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone,” the two-time Oscar winner added. “We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”

Leandro’s mother, Drena De Niro, was adopted by De Niro after the actor married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976. His father, Carlos Rodriguez, is a noted graffiti artist. The parents shared their grief in an Instagram post.

“It is with immeasurable shock and sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved son Leo,” Drena wrote. “We thank you for the outpouring love and support and ask that we are given privacy this time to process this inconsolable grief.”

“You can’t spell Love without Leo,” Carlos added in a caption to the post, which featured sweet pictures of Leandro at different ages.

As the De Niros said goodbye to Leandro, NYPD and federal investigators discovered text messages exchanged with Marks on the 19-year-old’s phone. They proceeded to set up a buy-and-bust sting operation, which led to her arrest Thursday night.

During one of the undercover buys, Marks warned an undercover officer to be careful because the “blues” had killed one of her friends, said Damian Williams, United States Attorney for New York’s Southern District. (Read the complaint here.)

It remains unclear if she was referencing Leandro or a second teen who was found dead on June 24 after allegedly buying drugs from Marks.

“At least one of Marks’ counterfeit pills was purchased and taken by a teenager who subsequently died of a suspected overdose,” Williams said. “The arrest was critical because, as we allege, Marks knew the pills could kill, and she continued selling them anyway.”

Marks had apparently even warned Leandro of the potential danger in a text, writing, “I j[ust] don’t like serving u them cuz they not script,” according to a criminal complaint.

Whether Marks’ drugs are suspected of killing any other addicts remains part of the ongoing investigation, Williams said. A raid of her parents’ co-op led to the discovery of a drawer filled with cash and 156 pills, per the complaint.

This image of cash seized during Marks’ arrest was included in the complaint.

On Friday, Marks appeared in a Manhattan federal courtroom on three counts of narcotics distribution and was held without bail. She faces up to 60 years behind bars.

Leandro played a small role in 2018’s A Star Is Born as the son of Bradley Cooper’s best friend, George ‘Noodles’ Stone, played by Dave Chappelle. He also appeared in Cabaret Maxime in 2018.

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