6 arrested in connection to death of HQ Trivia co-founder
Six alleged members of a drug delivery service known as “Mike’s Candyshop” were arrested on Wednesday by police and federal agents and charged with distributing heroin and cocaine, including a dose that killed Colin Kroll, the co-founder of the HQ Trivia app.
Kroll, 34, who was found dead last December at his Manhattan home, was a customer of Mike’s Candyshop, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which announced the arrests.
“As alleged, these defendants operated a covert on-demand delivery service for the distribution of highly addictive and dangerous drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Geoff Berman.
The defendants were members of a drug trafficking organization that delivered heroin and cocaine on demand to customers in New York City, according to the criminal complaint. Mike’s Candyshop generally operated seven days per week, from approximately 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., with the exception of major holidays such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and Labor Day.
“This illicit enterprise allegedly allowed people to order heroin and cocaine to their doorstep simply by calling the business phone number with the same convenience as if they were ordering a pizza,” said Peter Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York.
Christian Baez, 33, Luis Meson, 31, Gregoris Martinez, 34, Kevin Grullon, 25, and Joiffrey Urena, 27 of New York and Ariel Tavarez, 38, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, are each charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
All six of them will appear before a judge in Manhattan federal court later on Wednesday.
“The NYPD’s efforts to rid New York City streets of drug traffickers are greatly strengthened by our close partnerships with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement. “Anyone who deals in illegal narcotics must understand that the nation’s best investigators will stop at nothing to fight crime and keep safe all the people we serve.”
Kroll, who was a tech industry guru, rose to prominence after founding the app Vine in 2012.
More recently, he was known for being the co-founder and an executive for the HQ Trivia app, which he co-created in 2017.