Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jul 2001
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2001, The Tribune Co.
Section: Florida/Metro, page 4
Author:  Amanda Riddle, of The Associated Press
Cited: Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers - which accepts anonymous 
tips over the Internet to help law enforcement get drug dealers off the 
streets at


Forms Group To Rid Streets Of Dealers

PALM BEACH GARDENS - It was a few days into the new year when 19-year-
old Stevie Steiner moved to Florida to work as an electrician during
the slow winter months in NewYork.

He called home regularly, talking to his father about his job at a
Boca Raton lighting company and his plans to pay off his car loan.

Then after a night of partying over Super Bowl weekend, the eldest son
who was going to one day take over the family business was found dead
of an OxyContin overdose at the home he shared with his half brother
in this West Palm Beach suburb.

Six months later, Steven Steiner Sr. is outraged that no one has been
arrested in his son's death. He's spinning his anger into something
positive, a group called DAMMADD - Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug
Dealers - which accepts anonymous  tips over the Internet to help
law enforcement get drug dealers off the streets.

"I have to wake up every morning and see his picture in the living
room and his urn, and it makes me damn mad," said Steiner, 41, of
Tioga Center, N.Y. "That's what gives me the energy.  I'm going to
make a difference, there's no doubt."

On Jan. 27, his son and others at a party took Ecstasy and snorted
OxyContin, known by its generic name oxycodone. Stevie Steiner was
last seen alive Jan. 28, asleep on his living room couch. Half brother
Matthew Brandisi found him dead the next day.

Witnesses told police Steiner had taken two OxyContin tablets that
night and the medical examiner found evidence of the drug in Steiner's

Police could never confirm the elder Steiner's theories about how his
son obtained the drugs. The sheriffs office recently turned its
investigation over to the state attorney's office, which agreed that
there was no probable cause to arrest anyone in the 19-year-old's
death, Detective Richard Carl said.

Deaths from OxyContin have risen in Florida and across the nation.
Stevie Steiner was one of 26 oxycodone deaths in Palm Beach County
through April, compared with 40 in 2000.

Steiner doesn't think authorities are doing enough.

"They have just accepted kids dying in West Palm Beach," he

The father said he does not blame Purdue Pharma, the maker of
OxyContin, which gave DAMMADD $50,000.

On the DAMMADD Web site - - people can leave anonymous
tips about cocaine kingpins, Ecstasy makers, prescription drug pushers
and other dealers. The group pays from $100 to $1,500 for information
leading to an arrest and conviction. 
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