Washington man charged with drug-induced death

WASHINGTON, NJ (Warren County) – A Washington man has been charged with the drug-induced death of a 27-year-old man, according to Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke.

On February 2, Washington Township police responded to a residence on the 20 block of Green St to investigate a report of an unresponsive 27-year-old man. Upon arrival officers observed evidence indicative of opioid use near the unresponsive male, Burke said.

Officers administered Narcan and performed CPR but their efforts to revive the man were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased at around 4:30 a.m. Assisting at the scene was the Washington Emergency Squad and paramedics from Hunterdon Medical Center, Burke said.

The controlled dangerous substance found at the scene was later determined to be fentanyl. Township police and the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office commenced a joint investigation to identify the individual who distributed the fentanyl to the victim, Burke said.

After a 2 and half month long investigation it was determined the Matthew Evans, 39, allegedly had traveled to the victim’s residence on February 2 and sold him the fentanyl that caused the fatal overdose, Burke said.

Evans was arrested on Monday and was charged with one count of first-degree strict liability for drug induced death, one count of third-degree distribution of controlled dangerous substance, one count of third-degree possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke, Washington Township Police Chief Thomas Cicerelle, and Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division said in a joint statement, “The arrest of Mr. Evans should send a clear message to those that choose to sell heroin and fentanyl. If you sell drugs to someone and they die as a result of taking those drugs, you can and will be charged with their death. Let’s hope they get the message.”

The first degree charge carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, subject to the no early release act. The third degree charges carry a maximum term of 5 years in prison.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook