Friday, August 1, 2014

Arrest Made In Randall's Island Electric Zoo Overdose Death

On Wednesday Federal authorities arrested a Buffalo man for allegedly supplying the synthetic drug "Molly" which led to the fatal overdose of Jeffrey Russ, 23, an attendee at the electronic dance music festival on Randall's Island last year. Olivia Rotondo, 20, from North Providence, R.I., also died at the festival as a result of an overdose. A 16-year-old girl was also sexually assaulted, nineteen people were treated for drugs,  and  31 people were arrested in connection with the event.  

In June it was revealed that the Parks Department would be receiving 450 complimentary tickets to the Electric Zoo Festival worth as much as  $72,550 as part of a deal with the rave's organizer to bring the event back to Randall’s Island after last year's debacle.

Organizers are also required to pay $600,000 to the Randall’s Island Park Alliance. 

Randall's Island

Federal authorities arrested a man in Buffalo on Wednesday for allegedly supplying a synthetic drug that led to the fatal overdose of an attendee at an electronic dance music festival on Randall's Island last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
Patrick Morgan, 23 years old, was charged with one count of narcotics distribution and one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics.
Federal prosecutors said in a criminal complaint that Mr. Morgan sold pills, known as "molly," to Jeffrey Russ, 23, and two other people before the Electric Zoo music festival over Labor Day weekend.
Mr. Russ consumed the drug during the festival and died in the early morning on Aug. 31, 2013. City officials canceled the third day of the event after another person died and others grew sick.
Mr. Morgan appeared in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on Wednesday and was released on $100,000 bond, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office said.
His attorney, Brian Comerford, didn't return a request for comment.
The two people who purchased the drug with Mr. Russ assisted law-enforcement officials from the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office and the New York division of the Drug Enforcement Administration with their investigation, the complaint said.
In the complaint, DEA Special Agent Louis Schmidt said Mr. Morgan sold the drug to Mr. Russ and the others at a different electronic music concert in Buffalo earlier in August.
About two weeks later, the three pooled their money and went back to Mr. Morgan, the complaint said. They paid $1,100 for 80 more pills for "themselves and to distribute to others" at the Electric Zoo event, the complaint said.
On Aug. 30, during the festival, Mr. Russ consumed some of the pills supplied by Mr. Morgan and collapsed into a seizure, the complaint said. He died at Harlem Hospital at 3:21 a.m. the following morning, the complaint said, adding that when he had a 108 degree temperature and rapid heartbeat while he was being transported by an ambulance.
The complaint said one of Mr. Russ' friends met with Mr. Morgan on March 24, 2014 to discuss the death. A text message was later sent by the informant, at the direction of investigators, to implicate Mr. Morgan in the matter.
"Glad we got to talk about Jeff a little it was bugging me," the informant texted Mr. Morgan. "Just know that I no longer blame us for giving the molly to him because it was him that made the mistake of taking too much," the text said, according to the complaint. According to the complaint, Mr. Morgan responded: "Yeah man u too call me whenever you want."
Mr. Morgan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each charge.
A spokesman for Syracuse University confirmed Mr. Morgan was a student on campus. Mr. Russ was also a student at the school, a family member said.
Olivia Rotondo, 20, from North Providence, R.I., also died at the festival after collapsing from the likely intake of the same type of drug, New York City officials have said. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office wouldn't comment on whether Mr. Morgan was being investigated in that matter.
Organizers of the outdoor festival, which attracted 130,000 people last year, are still waiting on the city to grant final approval for this year's scheduled concert on Randall's Island over the Labor Day weekend.
A spokesman for the mayor's office said the Parks Department approved the permit application submitted by event organizers on April 29 based on a proposal for better security and medical services for concertgoers.
A detailed site and security plan was presented to the City on July 22, the spokesman said, adding that those proposals would be reviewed "before the city grants final approval to proceed."
Read More:
Wall Street Journal -   July 30, 2014  - By Yoni Bashan

DNAinfo -  June 2, 2014  - By James Fanelli 

A Walk In The Park  - March 26, 2014

New York Daily News - September 9, 2013 - By Barbara Ross  

Wall Street Journal - June 28, 2013 - By Josh Dawsey 

A Walk In The Park - September 4, 2013

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