Police have arrested a woman in connection with the July 2 ‘drug overdose’ death of acting legend Robert De Niro’s 19-year-old grandson Leandro.
Sofia Haley Marks, 20, is accused of selling Leandro De Niro Rodriguez drugs shortly before he was found dead in his New York City apartment.
Marks has been nicknamed ‘the Percocet Princess’, was arrested Thursday night at around 6 p.m. in an NYPD undercover sting operation, according to the New York Post.
She’s being charged federally with distributing narcotics, while investigators are still conducting a search in her home.
A spokesperson for the NYPD told DailyMail.com they could not confirm the arrest.
The teenager’s lifeless body was found sitting in a chair beside white powder inside a $950,000, one-bedroom apartment on Wall Street in New York.
A police source tells DailyMail.com the substance was found near his body and there were no signs of trauma. He was found by a friend who hadn’t heard from him in a few days and was checking in on him, a police source told TMZ.
Residents in the building, right next to the Wall Street subway stop told DailyMail.com they saw an ambulance and a fire truck pull up on an otherwise tranquil Sunday afternoon.
Aspiring actor and director Leandro was following in his mother and grandfather’s career footsteps, landed 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.
His mother Drena De Niro – an American actress adopted by De Niro after the actor married her mother, Diahnne Abbott in 1976 – announced his death.
His father Carlos, a renowned graffiti artist, and mother Drena, 51, shared a statement on Instagram on Monday as they reacted to Leandro’s untimely passing.
‘It is with immeasurable shock and sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved son Leo. 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 as the caption to the post, which featured sweet pictures of Leandro at different ages.
Drena was adopted by De Niro, and took his surname, after the actor married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976.
She had a relatively transient lifestyle thanks to her father’s vibrant career and split her time between New York City, Los Angeles, and Italy.
Drena left school and decided to explore the arts, turning her hand to a whole host of career paths including model, DJ and fashion consultant.
She eventually decided to follow in De Niro’s footsteps and soon found her feet as an actress and filmmaker.
She made De Niro a grandfather in 2003 when she welcomed Leandro with her then-boyfriend Carlos Rodriguez.
Drena, who currently lives in New York, has since turned her attentions to directing and also describes herself as being trained in Muay Thai and martial arts.
At 51, Drena is five years older than De Niro’s oldest biological child, Raphael, with Abbott. Now 46, he’s a Manhattan estate agent whose celebrity clients have included Jon Bon Jovi and Renee Zellweger.
De Niro also has two children — twins Aaron and Julian, 27, — from his relationship between 1988 and 1995 with former model and actress Toukie Smith. They were conceived by in vitro fertilizations and delivered by a surrogate mother.
In 1998, he also had a son, Elliot, 21, and in 2011, a daughter, Helen, 11, (also born via surrogate) during his stormy 20-year marriage to his second wife, former flight attendant Grace Hightower.
In May, the 79-year-old actor confirmed that he’d welcomed his seventh child Gia Virginia with his girlfriend Tiffany Chan, 43, to whom he has been linked since summer 2021.
Leandro’s death comes after the Department of Justice filed charges against several Chinese companies and executives over their alleged role in the U.S. fentanyl trade.
Federal prosecutors say nearly all fentanyl precursors are manufactured and shipped from China today.
Criminal organizations like the infamous Sinaloa cartel in Mexico work with Chinese companies to get their ingredients for fentanyl.