1st Degree Charge Filed Against Man in Connection with Fatal Overdose

Published on March 26, 2021

Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert Carroll, Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, and Borough of Riverdale Police Chief Kevin Smith announce the filing of a first degree Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death charge against Quamaine T. King, age 31, with a last known address in Paterson, New Jersey.  The charge arises from a fatal drug overdose which occurred in Riverdale, New Jersey on January 10, 2021.

On January 10, 2021, law enforcement responded to a 9-1-1 report of an unresponsive male in the bathroom of Target in Riverdale.  The male victim, later identified as M.R., age 23, was pronounced deceased at the scene.  The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office has certified the cause of M.R.’s death as fentanyl and heroin intoxication.

Based on subsequent investigation, it is alleged that Quamaine T. King distributed heroin and fentanyl to M.R. on January 10, 2021 in Paterson, NJ.  It is further alleged that M.R.’s death resulted from his ingestion of these substances, distributed by King to M.R.

King has been charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9.  This 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.  King was previously charged in January 2021 with drug-related offenses stemming from this investigation. In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, King has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.    

Multiple law enforcement agencies contributed to this investigation, including the Borough of Riverdale Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit and Major Crimes Unit.

Acting Prosecutor Carroll specifically commended Supervising Assistant Prosecutors Chris Schellhorn and Brad Seabury, in addition to Assistant Prosecutor Tara Wang, Captain Jan Monrad, Sergeant Michael Gomez, and Detective Jason Gould.

Acting Prosecutor Carroll said, “Each day we are losing entirely too many members of our community to drug overdoses, and drug-related deaths have only increased due to the multi-faceted challenges posed by COVID-19. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association members are resolute in our commitment to investigating and enforcing applicable state law, which calls for prosecuting distributors, whose sales lead to drug-related deaths, as first-degree offenders. We will investigate each and every overdose death and target the dealer of these deadly poisons. Distributors who prey upon the addicted will be held responsible - for both their drug distribution offense AND the unacceptable loss of life that all too often results.”

“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. Let this be a warning to drug dealers that they are taking an enormous risk with every fold of heroin they distribute.”

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] or 973-829-8159.   


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