AG’s Office charged Terrill Spann under New Jersey’s strict liability for drug-induced death law
TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a drug dealer pleaded guilty today to supplying the fentanyl and heroin that caused two overdose deaths in August 2017.
Terrill Spann, 30, of Keyport, N.J., pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree strict liability for drug-induced death before Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. in Middlesex County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Spann be sentenced to 10 years in prison, including 8 ½ years of parole ineligibility, for each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Spann is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2019.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Klein took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Spann was arrested on Dec. 7, 2017 in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, conducted with assistance from the Aberdeen Township Police Department and the Old Bridge Township Police Department.
In pleading guilty, Spann admitted that he supplied the drugs that killed Wayne Cameron Jr., 29, of Aberdeen Township and Gabriella Guidetti, 26, of Old Bridge Township. Cameron was found dead in his bedroom on Aug. 3, 2017 from an overdose of fentanyl and heroin. Guidetti was found dead in her bedroom on Aug. 19, 2017 from an overdose of fentanyl. In each case, detectives determined that Spann was the drug dealer who supplied the victims with the lethal opioids shortly before their deaths.
Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids, with a potency that is 50 times greater than heroin. It frequently is mixed with heroin, yielding doses of unpredictable and often lethal strength. Deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs have increased tenfold over the past four years in New Jersey, with 1,379 fatal overdoses involving the synthetic opioid reported in 2017, according to preliminary data. Under a statewide Attorney General Directive governing investigations involving heroin and opiates, police and prosecutors in New Jersey are directed to investigate all overdose deaths with a view to potentially charging the dealers responsible under New Jersey’s strict liability for drug-induced death statute.
“Spann was dealing heroin laced with fentanyl, a dangerous mix that is killing far too many people in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are sending a message through these prosecutions that drug dealers who callously profit by fueling the epidemic of opiate addiction will face stern prison sentences when their products prove deadly.”
“We are working closely with law enforcement partners across the state to hold drug dealers strictly liable when the dangerous narcotics they traffic into our communities cause overdose deaths,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “New Jersey’s strict-liability statute is an important tool that we are using as part of our multi-faceted efforts to fight the opioid epidemic – efforts that also include prevention and treatment strategies.”