Four men accused of hawking the deadly drugs behind the overdose death of HQ Trivia co-founder Colin Kroll pleaded not guilty Tuesday during an appearance in Manhattan federal court.
Christian Baez, Gregoris Martinez, Kevin Grullon and Joiffrey Urena — all charged as members of the on-demand drug delivery service known as “Mike’s Candyshop” — are variously charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Kroll, 34, was found dead of an overdose in his tony Nolita apartment on Dec. 16. While the tech entrepreneur is only named as “Victim 1” in court papers, sources have confirmed it’s Kroll.
Two defendants — Ariel Tavarez and Luis Meson — did not appear, and will be arraigned at a later date.
Prosecutor Aline Flodr noted Tuesday that investigators had discovered “empty vials with colored tops” — a Candyshop “signature” — near Kroll’s remains, as well as texts on his phone with the delivery service’s main number the day before his death.
During the hearing, Flodr noted that some 28 cellphones and computers had been seized in connection with the operation, and that agents had “approached 10 customers” on the day of the take-down who confirmed they were buying drugs from the so-called Candyshop.
The men face up to life behind bars if convicted. They’re due back in court Jan. 17.
Kroll made a name for himself in 2012 after founding the now-defunct video app Vine, which he later sold to Twitter for $30 million. He went on to co-found the HQ Trivia app in 2017 and was serving as CEO at the time of his death.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed in February he died after consuming a cocktail of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and a fentanyl analog called fluoroisobutyryl.