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Paterson man charged in drug-induced death of 23-year-old man in Morris County

RIVERDALE BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – A Paterson man has been charged in connection with the fatal overdose death of a 23-year-old man who died on Jan. 10 in Riverdale Borough, according to Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert Carroll.

On January 10, 2021, police responded to a 9-1-1 report of an unresponsive male in the bathroom of Target in Riverdale. The male victim, later identified as M.R., 23, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office has certified the cause of M.R.’s death as fentanyl and heroin intoxication, Carroll said.

Based on subsequent investigation, it is alleged that Quamaine T. King, 31, distributed heroin and fentanyl to M.R. on January 10, 2021 in Paterson. It is further alleged that M.R.’s death resulted from his ingestion of these substances, distributed by King to M.R., Carroll said.

King has been charged with first-degree strict liability for drug-induced death. This charge provides that any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses any number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance. This is a first-degree crime, which is punishable by up to twenty years in New Jersey State Prison and is subject to the eighty-five percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act. King was previously charged in January 2021 with drug-related offenses stemming from this investigation. In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, King has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings, Carroll said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies contributed to this investigation, including the Borough of Riverdale Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit and Major Crimes Unit.

“Each day we are losing entirely too many members of our community to drug overdoses, and drug-related deaths have only increased due to the multi-faceted challenges posed by COVID-19. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association members are resolute in our commitment to investigating and enforcing applicable state law, which calls for prosecuting distributors, whose sales lead to drug-related deaths, as first-degree offenders. We will investigate each and every overdose death and target the dealer of these deadly poisons. Distributors who prey upon the addicted will be held responsible – for both their drug distribution offense AND the unacceptable loss of life that all too often results,” Carroll said.

“It is essential that the community is aware of the law and support our resolve to enforce it in order to protect the citizens of Morris County. Let this be a warning to drug dealers that they are taking an enormous risk with every fold of heroin they distribute,” Carroll said.

If anyone has any information related to this investigation, they are encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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