FREEHOLD, NJ (Monmouth County) – A Long Branch man was sentenced to six years in New Jersey State Prison as a result of a plea to the first degree crime of strict liability for drug induced death of a Flanders woman. The charges stem from an overdose death that took place this past February in Tinton Falls, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.
Lateef Reevey, 31, was sentenced on Feb. 17 by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas to six years New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A.). Pursuant to N.E.R.A., He will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Reevey also received a five year term in New Jersey State Prison for an unrelated charge of conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance, which will run concurrent to the strict liability charge, Gramiccioni said.
Reevey previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 14, 2020 in connection with the fatal overdose death of 25 year-old Lucy Yardley of Flanders who died on Feb. 21, 2020. Under New Jersey law, a person who distributes a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is strictly liable for a death which results from the injection, inhalation or ingestion of that substance, Gramiccioni said.
On Feb. 21, 2020, at around 6:07 p.m., the Tinton Falls Police Department received a report of a possible overdose victim in a local motel room. The responding officers located the victim, Lucy Yardley, lying on the bathroom floor of Room 314. She was unconscious and not breathing. Despite the lifesaving efforts of the Tinton Falls Police Department, the Tinton Falls First Aid Squad, and the MONOC Paramedics, Yardley was pronounced deceased, Gramiccioni said.
An investigation was immediately launched by the Tinton Falls Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office into the victim’s death and the origins of the heroin she ingested. The investigation ultimately identified Reevey as having communicated with the victim the day prior. On February 22, 2020, police located Reevey in the parking lot of the same local motel. Reevey was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin and cocaine, packaged for sale, as well as two cellular telephones, Gramiccioni said.
Upon approach by police, Reevey broke one of the two phones, which he had used to communicate with the victim two days earlier. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of third-degree possession of CDS, two counts of third-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, one count of third-degree conspiracy to distribute, one count of fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence and the disorderly persons offense of possession of drug paraphernalia, Gramiccioni said.