Cecilia Gentili cause of death update: Two charged with supplying drugs to transgender activist

Cecilia Gentili smiles for a selfie
Transgender activist Cecilia Gentili tragically lost her life in February. Pic credit: @ceciliagentili72/Instagram

The authorities in Brooklyn, New York, have charged Michael Kuilan and Antonio Venti with supplying heroin and fentanyl to transgender activist Cecilia Gentili, which allegedly caused her death last month.

The 52-year-old Gentili was found dead at her Brooklyn apartment on February 6. She advocated for the rights of the trans community, undocumented immigrants, and sex workers and was also an actor making appearances in TV drama POSE.

The police had not announced a cause of death until yesterday’s arrest of 44-year-old Kuilan and 52-year-old Venti.

In a statement, United States Attorney Breon Peace accused Kuilan and Venti of poisoning Gentili with fentanyl-laced heroin.

Peace also revealed that Gentili’s partner had telephoned the cops, who found the victim lying dead in her bedroom. Xylazine and cocaine were also found in her system.

The attorney said investigators used text messages, cell site data, and other evidence to conclude that Venti had sold the drugs to Gentili on the day before she died. Kuilan is accused of supplying Venti with the deadly drugs.

NYPD allegedly found drugs that killed Cecilia Gentili in Michael Kuilan apartment

The NYPD searched Kuilan’s apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he lived with his 85-year-old grandmother, and found 400 bags of fentanyl, a handgun, and ammunition.

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The bags contained about 30 grams each, which, according to prosecutors, is enough to administer a lethal dose to several thousand people.

Kuilan and Venti were both arrested last month on charges of distribution, and they both have prior convictions related to possession and distribution. Venti has a previous conviction for larceny.

Michael Kuilan and Antonio Venti facing lengthy sentences if convicted in Cecilia Gentili death

The two suspects are now facing a sentence of 20 years to life if found guilty of distribution of heroin and fentanyl causing death. Kuilan’s mother, Elizabeth Pabellon, told reporters after her son’s hearing on Monday, “I’ve been doing everything to keep him on the straight and narrow.”

NYPD Commissioner Caban stated yesterday, “Today’s indictment delivers a strong message to anyone who profits from poisoning our communities with illicit drugs: There are dedicated investigators … working tirelessly to disrupt your shameful industry by pinpointing the source of these unlawful substances.”

Caban added, “It is imperative that we continue to hold distributors accountable for their callous actions.”

Gentili came to the USA as a child from Argentina and endured homelessness and sex work before she turned her life around and focused on helping those in unfortunate circumstances, particularly within the LGBTQ communities.

Her death was mourned by many, including New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who lamented on social media that “New York’s LGBTQ+ community has lost a champion.”

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