Philip Eldred pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection to the drug induced death of a Margate woman, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
According to authorities, Eldred, 30, Egg Harbor Township pleaded guilty to onr count of first degree Strict Liability Drug Induced death of Caroline Boothby on August 2, 2017, First degree Operating CDS Manufacturing Facility, and Second degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun.
Officials say Eldred was indicted in February along with 9 other individuals who are connected to George Stokes, 41, who was also indicted on 29 charges, including, 3 counts of first degree Drug Induced Death Strict Liability Homicide for the deaths of Hector Santos, 29, William S. Ang, 33, and Caroline Boothby, 22. Stokes was also indicted on first degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, as well as, multiple weapons and drugs charges.
Individual investigations into each of the three drug related deaths was undertaken by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Drug Related Death Squad. After months of investigation, it was concluded that the fatal drugs in each case—specifically, fentanyl—were distributed by George Stokes as part of a narcotics trafficking operation he led in Atlantic City throughout 2017.
In addition, it was also discovered that he maintained multiple CDS manufacturing premises in Atlantic City and Hamilton Township for the production and packaging of the drugs, which included heroin and fentanyl. Stokes employed as many as ten individuals in his operation, some of whom are also charged with playing a role in distributing the fatal drugs. Eldred remains in custody at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Eldred’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2018, before Judge Benjamin Podolnick.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.