Man Charged with First Degree Crime in Connection with Fatal Overdose

Published on March 27, 2023

Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and Pequannock Police Chief Daniel Comune announce the arrest of David Pezak, age 34, formerly of Saddle Brook, Bergen County, for first degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death and other drug-related offenses. The first degree charge arises from a fatal drug overdose that occurred in Pequannock Township, New Jersey on November 15, 2021.

On Monday, November 15, 2021, law enforcement responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive female at a residence in Pequannock Township.  The female victim, later identified as A.C., was pronounced deceased at the scene.  The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of A.C.’s death as Fentanyl, Amphetamine, Carisoprodol and Clonazepam Intoxication. 

Based on subsequent investigation, it is alleged that David Pezak conspired with an unnamed individual to distribute narcotics to A.C. on November 15, 2021 in Paterson, New Jersey.  It is further alleged that A.C.’s death resulted from her ingestion of the substance she obtained through her communications with Pezak.

As a result of the investigation recently concluded, Pezak has been charged with first degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9; third degree Conspiracy to Distribute, 2C:5-2A(1) and 2C:35-5B(5); third degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 2C:35-5B(5); third degree Possession of a CDS, 2C:35-10A(1); and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of CDS Paraphernalia, 2C:36-2A.

The Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death statute provides that any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses any number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance.  This 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. 

In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Pezak is detained at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.    

Multiple law enforcement agencies contributed to this investigation and arrest, including the Pequannock Township Police Department, the Saddle Brook Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.

Prosecutor Carroll said, “Each day we are losing entirely too many members of our community to drug overdoses. Together with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Chiefs of Police Association, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office are committed to investigating and enforcing applicable state law, which calls for prosecuting distributors whose sales lead to drug-related deaths, as first-degree offenders. Distributors who prey upon the addicted will be held responsible. It is essential that the community is aware of the law and support our resolve to enforce it in order to protect the citizens of Morris County and beyond.”

If anyone has any information related to this investigation, they are encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200. 

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite these accusations, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until they have each been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected].

Tagged as: