Since the start of the Drug Related Death Investigation Squad within the ACPO Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Unit, on Feb. 6, 2017, 5 defendants have pleaded guilty to Strict Liability Drug Induced Death charges, accounting for the deaths of 5 different victims dating back to April 2016.
A total of 14 people have been charged with Strict Liability Drug Induced Death, accounting for the deaths of 11 different people going back to April of 2016. Many deaths from the past two years remain under investigation by the DRD Investigation Squad, which was created as an effort to combat the opioid epidemic in Atlantic County.
“We are committed to reducing the number of deaths related to the overdose of opioids and other drugs in Atlantic County. This requires a comprehensive effort from law enforcement, family members and loved ones, and the community at large to join together to prosecute these predators who are purveyors of death,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Two defendants who pleaded guilty have been sentenced:
Philip Eldred, 30, Egg Harbor Township in custody at ACJF; sentenced in Oct. 2018, to 7 years in New Jersey State prison, must serve 85% in accordance with the No Early Release Act.
1ST degree, 1 count of Strict Liability Drug Induced death of *Caroline Boothby on August 2, 2017
Khrystian Morris, 31, Margate, in custody at ACJF, was sentenced on Dec. 7, 2018, to 5 years in New Jersey state prison, must serve 85% in accordance with the No Early Release Act.
1ST degree, 1 count of Strict Liability Drug Induced death of William Ang on June 2, 2017
1ST degree CDS manufacturing facility
2 counts 3RD degree CDS Distribution
Sentencing dates are scheduled for the other 3 defendants who pleaded guilty to the following charges:
Alissa Cunningham, 31, Ocean City, in New Jersey State Prison
1ST degree Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death of William Ang on June 2, 2017
3RD degree Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin/Fentanyl in a school zone on June 7, 2017
Jamal Campos, 25, Egg Harbor Township, in custody ACJF
1ST degree Strict Liability Homicide Drug Induced Death, causing the overdose death of Adam O’Gara on April 22, 2016 in Egg Harbor Township
1ST degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network.
Jonathan Porter, 27, Trenton, in custody ACJF
Two counts of 1ST degree Strict Liability Homicide for the Drug-Induced Deaths of: Tuan Tran, 31, causing his death on Sept. 24, 2017 in Galloway and David Hinckley, 52, causing his death on Oct. 19, 2017, in Somers Point.
George Stokes 3 counts SLDID)
William Johnson 2 counts SLDI
Christopher Garrett 2 counts SLDID
Romeo Ramone 2 counts SLDID
One defendant, Jessica Downey is deceased.
“Our unit works around the clock to find out who distributed those drugs, and then prove it in court. We hope to send a message to dealers of the consequences of distribution, and to warn people that just one use can be fatal, but more than anything, we want to lend whatever support we can to families who have lost someone to this epidemic,” Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey said.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.