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NJ Man Sentenced for Teen’s Fatal Overdose

Mount Olive


By: Yuritza Arroyo

Authorities in Morris County announced the sentencing of John P. Rowe, age 30, formerly of Budd Lake, for first-degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death and other charges.

According to officials, on March 22, Rowe entered guilty pleas to first-degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death, first-degree Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute, and a Violation of Probation.

Officials say on April 29,  Rowe was sentenced to an aggregate term of 12 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act.

The Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death charge arises from a September 2021 fatal drug overdose that occurred at the Days Inn located in Mount Olive.

On September 22, 2021, law enforcement responded to the Days Inn on a report of an unconscious male.

According to Police, the male victim, later identified as G.B., age 19, was transported to the hospital and subsequently pronounced deceased on September 23, 2021. The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office certified the cause of G.B.’s death as fentanyl toxicity.

Police say, based on subsequent investigation, it was revealed that 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. Rowe was charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death.

According to authorities, this statute provides that any person who manufactures, distributes, or dispenses any of a number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance.

During a separate investigation in June 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence in Mount Olive, where Rowe was known to live.


During the execution of the search warrant, officers seized a number of items, including more than five ounces of Methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance.

Police say at the time of both these incidents, Rowe was serving a probationary sentence. As a result of these arrests, he was found to have violated the terms of his probationary sentence.

In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Rowe was detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility during the pendency of these proceedings.