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UPDATE: Man Charged for Fatal Drug Overdose in Hanover Township

Morris County

By: Najla Alexander

Authorities in Morris County announced the filing of a first-degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death charge against Anthony Q. Dello-Russo, age 27, of Cedar Knolls (Hanover).

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll said the charge arises from a fatal drug overdose that occurred in Whippany (Hanover) in February 2023.Ad

Officials said that on February 16, 2023, law enforcement responded to a residence in Whippany on a report of an unconscious male.

The male victim, later identified as T.H., age 28, was pronounced deceased on scene, authorities say.

The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office has certified the cause of T.H.’s death as combined toxicity of cocaine, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl, officials stated.

Based on subsequent investigation, officials say, it is alleged that Dello-Russo distributed controlled dangerous substances to T.H. on February 15, 2023, in Hanover.

According to officials, it is further alleged that T.H.’s death resulted from his ingestion of the substances distributed by Dello-Russo.

Officials say Dello-Russo has been charged with first-degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death on December 26.

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, officials said.AdThis is a first-degree crime, which is punishable by up to twenty (20) years in New Jersey State Prison and is subject to the eighty-five (85) percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act, officials said.

In connection with the fatal overdose, officials said, Dello-Russo has also been charged with two counts of third-degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Dello-Russo was previously charged on December 8 with second-degree Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute, third-degree Possession of Cocaine, second-degree Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, third-degree Possession of Marijuana, and third-degree Money Laundering.

Authorities say those charges relate to the seizure of over one-half ounce of suspected cocaine, over five pounds of marijuana, and over $51,000 in cash from Dello-Russo’s residence.

In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Dello-Russo has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings, officials stated.

Prosecutor Carroll said, “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.”Ad