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NJ Man Arrested for Fentanyl-Laced Overdose of Juvenile

Bergen County

By: Najla Alexander 

Authorities in Bergen County announced the arrest of Jordan Clarke of Westwood for strict liability and drug distribution-related charges.AdOfficials said the arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Acting Chief Matthew Finck and the Park Ridge Police Department under the direction of Chief Joseph Madden.

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella stated that on Thursday, September 14, 2023, the Park Ridge Police Department responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive teenage juvenile.

Responding officers located the juvenile victim, and life-saving measures were initiated, including the administration of naloxone, officials say.

Authorities say the victim was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.

Indicators of a possible drug overdose were noted, and detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force were notified, officials stated.

According to officials, it was subsequently determined that the victim ingested a fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pill, and the cause of death was acute fentanyl intoxication.

Officials said an investigation was initiated by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Park Ridge Police Department into the death of the teenage juvenile and the related drug activity.

The six-month-long investigation revealed that Jordan Clarke distributed a fatal dose of narcotics to the victim, causing the juvenile’s death.AdAs a result of the investigation, officials say, on March 8, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Park Ridge Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of a relative of Jordan Clarke in Paterson, where Clarke was staying, and located evidence related to this investigation.

Clarke was charged with first-degree strict liability in a drug-induced death, third-degree distribution of fentanyl, and third-degree distribution of alprazolam, according to officials. 

Authorities say Clarke was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.