2 charged after allegedly not reporting an overdose

BLAIRSTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – Two Blairstown Township residents, who were in the presence of a man experiencing symptoms of a drug overdose, were charged after they allegedly didn’t seek medical help.

On September 11, the Blairstown Police Department responded to a residence on Msin St for a suspected overdose. Upon arrival, law enforcement officers administered Narcan to an adult who was then transported to the hospital, according to Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke.

Through a joint investigation between the Warren County Prosecutors Office-Narcotics Task Force and the Blairstown Police Department, it was discovered the male victim had been experiencing symptoms of a drug overdose earlier in the night for approximately three hours in the presence of Jessica Russo, 29, and Korey Ball, 32, neither of whom sought treatment for the victim. This “possibly resulted in further medical distress,” Burke said.

On September 15, a search warrant was executed at the residence where the overdose occurred. Heroin, Xanax and drug paraphernalia were allegedly seized, Burke said.

Russo was charged with one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of an injured victim and one count third-degree possession of heroin.

Ball was charged with one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of an injured victim, and two counts of third-degree possession of heroin and Xanax.

Each third degree offenses carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and/or a fine of $15,000 for the endangering charge and $35,000 for the possession of a controlled dangerous substance charge.

“Pursuant to the New Jersey Overdose Prevention Act, Ball and Russo would not have been charged with any crime if they had call 911 and sought medical treatment for the victim when he first began exhibiting symptoms of an overdose,” Burke said.

“If anyone is addicted to opiates and/or struggles with the addiction or who has a loved one who struggles with addiction, please let them know about the Overdose Prevention Act. The law of the State of New Jersey recognizes preserving human life is paramount,” Burke said.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook