The state has indicted two alleged drug dealers on manslaughter charges June 27. The two indictments were handed down as Ocean County prosecutors investigated new ways to decrease the overdose deaths and heroin dealing. The men are accused of manslaughter under a rare state law that cites a drug dealer’s liability in drug-induced deaths. To be successful, the prosecutor will have to show a jury a direct link between the individual who overdosed and the dealer accused of selling the drug.
The 22-year-old is charged with manslaughter and causing the heroin overdose death of a 26-year-old Stafford Township man. The individual was found dead in his car on April 19. Investigators allegedly found that the man drove to Atlantic City to buy heroin. The second man, a 33-year-old, was indicted on the same charge, but it was related to a different death. The alleged drug buyer, a 27-year-old from Lacey, was found unresponsive on January 16. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Investigators have allegedly found evidence linking the Atlantic City man to the drug death. Both men are also facing drug distribution and drug possession charges.
Both men were held on $250,000 cash bail. It is not known whether the men have obtained lawyers. According to Ocean County officials there have been 62 recorded overdose death in the first half of 2013. The total number of overdose deaths in 2012 was 53.
Anyone facing manslaughter charges related to an overdose death or drug charges often seeks the help of a criminal lawyer. A lawyer may investigate the circumstances involved in the case. He or she may also discuss any plea deals with clients that the prosecutor offers. If no plea deal is offered, a criminal lawyer may represent the client in a trial.