Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 54-year-old Mount Holly drug dealer has been sentenced to 11 years in New Jersey state prison for narcotics possession and for causing the death of a Lumberton resident who fatally overdosed on fentanyl he bought from her.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Linda Naulty pled guilty in November to Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree) and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute (Third Degree). The agreement called for an eight-year term for the first-degree crime, of which Naulty must serve 85 percent before becoming eligible for parole. The three years she received for narcotics possession with intent to distribute will run consecutively.
The sentence was handed down on Friday in Superior Court in Mount Holly by the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C.
The investigation began on February 8, 2021, after Lumberton Township police officers and emergency medical technicians were dispatched to the 500 block of Main Street in Lumberton for a report of an unconscious adult male. Upon arrival, they discovered the body of Paul Cronrath IV, 29, who had fatally overdosed in his bedroom.
Within a few hours, investigators identified Naulty as the source of the drugs and charged her with possessing and planning to sell illegal narcotics. When taken into custody, she had multiple doses of fentanyl and nearly $1,400 in cash in her possession.
The charges were upgraded after the results of toxicology tests confirmed that the drugs found in Cronrath’s bedroom were identical to the ones found on Naulty’s person at the time of her arrest.
“I commend the Lumberton and BCPO officers and detectives for the prompt and efficient investigation that led to the substantial sentence for the defendant in this case,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Their efforts reflect our commitment to investigate all fatal overdoses in our County in order to pursue drug-induced-death prosecutions, when warranted, to counter the wanton dealing of fentanyl and the tragic consequences it has brought to so many individuals facing addiction, and their families.
Naulty was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Laura Heisman.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Lumberton Township Police Department and the BCPO Gang, Gun & Narcotics Task Force. The lead investigator was LTPD Detective Aaron Roselli.