Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll, Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, and Mount Olive Township Police Chief Stephen Beecher announce the filing of a Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death charge against John P. Rowe, 30, with a last known address in Budd Lake.
The charge arises from a fatal drug overdose that occurred in Mount Olive on September 21, 2021.
According to Prosecutor Carroll, on September 22, 2021, law enforcement responded to the Days Inn located in Mount Olive on a report of an unconscious male.
The male victim, later identified as G.B., 19, was transported to the hospital and subsequently pronounced deceased on September 23, 2021.
The Morris County Medical Examiner's Office has certified the cause of G.B.'s death as fentanyl toxicity.
Based on subsequent investigation, it is alleged that John P. Rowe distributed fentanyl on September 21, 2021, in Morristown.
It is further alleged that G.B.'s death resulted from his ingestion of the fentanyl distributed by Rowe.
Prosecutor Carroll said that Rowe has been charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death.
In connection with this investigation, Rowe was previously charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Rowe has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.
"Drug dealers should be on notice that we will not hesitate to charge them with the first degree Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death statute when the facts support the connection between the dealer and the death of their user/victim," Prosecutor Carroll said.
"Dealers of deadly Fentanyl should pay special attention as they are dealing lethal substances often to unknowing consumers who may overdose."
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.