Additional Charge Filed Against Man in Connection with Fatal Drug Overdose

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MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson, Jr. and Jefferson Township Police Chief Sean Conrad announce the filing of an additional charge related to a fatal drug overdose occurring on June 21, 2018.

On June 21, 2018, law enforcement responded to a report of an unresponsive male in Jefferson.  The victim, who was pronounced deceased at the scene, was identified as Eric Malmberg.  The investigation would reveal that Malmberg was the victim of a fatal drug overdose.

Through a subsequent investigation, it is alleged that Norberto Rodriguez, Jr., 20, Wayne Township, distributed heroin/fentanyl to Malmberg in Wayne Township on or about June 18, 2018.  It is further alleged that the ingestion of the heroin/fentanyl distributed by Rodriguez to Malmberg resulted in Malmberg’s death.

Rodriguez 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 of a 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.  Rodriguez was previously charged in June 2018 with drug-related offenses stemming from this investigation.  In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Rodriguez was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have been actively involved in this investigation, including the Jefferson Township Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Special Enforcement Units.

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.

Editor’s Note: A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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