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Suspect Arrested in Connection to Robert De Niro’s Grandson Leandro’s Death: Details

A suspect was arrested in connection to the suspected overdose of Robert De Niro’s grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez.

Law enforcement sources told both NBC News and ABC News on Friday, July 14, that 20-year-old Sofia Haley Marks allegedly sold drugs to Leandro prior to his death earlier this month. The outlets reported that Marks is in police custody in New York City on federal drug distribution charges.

Suspect Arrested in Connection to Robert De Niro Grandson Leandro Death
Robert De Niro attends the ‘Mixtape’ film premiere on April 7, 2022 in New York City. Photo Image Press/Shutterstock

An investigation into Leandro’s death is ongoing, though his mother, Drena De Niro, previously claimed it was drug-related.

“Someone sold him fentanyl-laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him so for all these people still f—king around selling and buying this s—t, my son is gone forever 😭,” Drena, 51, wrote via Instagram on July 4.

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According to authorities in NYC, Leandro, who was an aspiring actor, had been found dead at a building in lower Manhattan.

Suspect Arrested in Connection to Robert De Niro Grandson Leandro Death 2
Leandro Anthony De Niro-Rodriguez Courtesy of Drena De Niro/Instagram

Drena — who is the daughter of the actor, 79, and Diahnne Abbottconfirmed her son’s passing two days prior. Leandro was 19.

“My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly. You have been my joy my heart and all that was ever pure and real in my life,” Drena, who shared Leandro with artist Carlos Rodriguez, wrote via Instagram on July 2. “I wish I was with you right now. I wish I was with you.”

Rodriguez, for his part, replied to her Instagram comments at the time. “My dear Drena… words aren’t enough to express the joy he gave us or the loss we now endure with our families and friends,” he wrote. “He is Godschild now. 🙏🏼 On this full moon his spirit luminates what could not be seen in the dark. You can’t spell LOVE without LEO 👼💔💔.”

Rodriguez later penned his own heartbreaking tribute to his late son.

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“If you knew him you would know. ♥️💔 Our families and friends will grieve but never forget him,” he wrote via Instagram on July 5. “Leo was a passionate young man, he loved his family and friends, he was loved his life [sic] and was curious about the world. Leo was a prolific and talented high-level programmer who wanted to find a purposeful use with his talents beyond the social media calamity he didn’t care for. Like his parents he loved art and artists, he was comfortable in this tribe.”

Robert also mourned the loss of Leandro in a statement to Us Weekly: “I’m deeply distressed by the passing of my beloved grandson Leo,” the Oscar winner told Us earlier this month. “We’re greatly appreciative of the condolences from everyone. We ask that we please be given privacy to grieve our loss of Leo.”

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