New York City

NYC Woman Allegedly Linked to Deaths of 3 in Motel Rooms Is Indicted in One Case

Angelina Barini pleaded not guilty Friday and her attorney says they are engaged in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors

What to Know

  • An NYC prostitute has been indicted in the fentanyl intoxication death of a man found dead in a Queens motel room on July 11
  • Angelina Barini pleaded not guilty Friday and her attorney says they are engaged in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors
  • Charges stem from a criminal complaint that had also linked Barini to the deaths of two other men, one of whom matched age of missing chef

A 41-year-old Queens prostitute who a criminal complaint said has been linked to the deaths of at least three men since July pleaded not guilty in connection with one of the cases in federal court in Brooklyn Friday, authorities said.

An indictment against Angelina Barini was unsealed in federal court Friday, charging her with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl that prompted the deadly overdose of a man in a Woodside motel room July 11. 

Video surveillance from earlier that day captured a woman, who appeared to be Barini, and the unidentified victim walking into the motel together. Prior to her arrest Aug. 25, Barini admitted to law enforcement that she had given the man drugs, the indictment alleges. The medical examiner's office determined that fentanyl intoxication is what killed him. 

Barini, whose attorney says she is engaged in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors, is scheduled to be back in court early next month. The charges against her stem in part from a criminal complaint that linked her to the deaths of three men, including this victim, which it identified only as John Doe 2. 

The indictment charges her in connection with only that one case; she faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charges in the indictment. Another of the cases to which Barini is allegedly connected involves a body discovered at the Kamway Lodge in Elmhurst on Aug. 21, the same place and day where once-missing Grand Central head chef Andrea Zamperoni was found dead.

The complaint does not name the men, referring to them only as John Doe 1, John Doe 2 and John Doe 3, and outlines an alleged scheme by Barini and others to distribute fentanyl-laced drugs. According to the complaint, agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations and other law enforcement members had been investigating several lethal drug overdoses in New York City hotel rooms between July and August 2019.

Barini was linked to at least three of the cases. The most recent one was Aug. 21, the day Zamperoni's body was found. The complaint describes "John Doe 3" as a man who had been reported missing, which Zamperoni had been days earlier. Barini was the woman who opened the door when investigators knocked on the door at Kamway Lodge that day; she quickly shut it, but the complaint says officers smelled a scent consistent with a dead body, along with burning incense, and questioned her. According to the complaint, law enforcement authorities saw what appeared to be a garbage can with bed linens stuffed inside and what appeared to be a bare human foot sticking out. 

Barini allegedly told officers she "didn't do it, her pimp made her do it and it was not her," according to the complaint. The victim in that case was a 33-year-old man from Italy, the same age and origin as Zamperoni.

Cellphones, clothing, a glass pipe commonly used to smoke drugs and an American Express credit card bearing John Doe 3's name were found in the room, the complaint says. Also found: bottles of bleach and bleach-covered towels, electronics, a power saw and an empty suitcase, the complaint says.

Barini told authorities she had met the man from Italy three days earlier and they went to the lodge, where he paid her for sex; she said he didn't wake up and was bleeding from the nose and mouth, telling authorities her pimp wouldn't let her call authorities, the complaint says. She also allegedly told investigators the body was wrapped in a garbage bag and her alleged associates, who would sometimes take property of victims once they were drugged, came into the room to talk about whether to cut up the body.

While she initially denied that she gave John Doe 3 drugs, the complaint says she later admitted one of her alleged co-conspirators gave him "liquid ecstasy." She also allegedly confessed to giving clients drugs, supplied by her alleged co-conspirators, on occasion, according to the federal complaint. 

On Friday, the medical examiner ruled that Zamperoni died of accidental intoxication from alcohol, cocaine and another substance that was likely fentanyl.

The other victim, John Doe 1, who was discovered at East Elmhurst's Airway Inn at LaGuardia earlier in August, died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint, the criminal complaint said. Video surveillance in that case showed a woman who appeared to be Barini leaving the hotel shortly before the body was discovered.

There was no immediate information Friday on whether Barini would potentially be indicted in connection with the other two cases. 

On Friday, the same day Barini pleaded not guilty, the medical examiner released Zamperoni's cause of death, which was ruled as an accident brought on by acute intoxication by the combined effects of alcohol, cocaine and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.

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