An Atlantic City man has been charged in the April 19 heroin overdose death of Steven Janson, 26, of Stafford Township.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced Thursday the return of an indictment by an Ocean County grand jury against 22-year-old Rasan S. McGee. The indictment charges McGee with causing the drug-induced death of Janson, a first-degree crime. He is also charged with manslaughter.
Coronato said in April that about 40 percent of the drugs coming into Ocean County, including heroin, are from Atlantic County, and about 60 percent are from the north, including places such as Newark.
“The 62 drug overdose deaths in Ocean County over the last six months demand I send a strong message to these harbingers of death, the heroin dealers. My office will be relentless in tracking down and prosecuting dealers who choose to profit by ignoring the tragic consequences of their actions,” Coronato said.
Also on Thursday, an Ocean County grand jury returned an indictment against Kenneth W. Staunton, 33, of Lacey Township, who is charged in the Jan. 17 heroin overdose death of Raymond Farino, 27, in the township.
The formation of a drug task force through the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office in April came after nine people in the county died of heroin overdoses during an eight-day period, including Janson. Since the start of the year, 62 people have died of heroin overdoses in the county, topping last year's 53 total drug overdose deaths. Authorities in Ocean and Atlantic counties have said they are working together to combat the drug problem crossing their borders.
On April 19, Barnegat Township police went to Starboard Avenue following a report of an unresponsive male inside a car. Janson was found dead inside his Hyundai Genesis.
Police searched the car and found four bags used for heroin. The investigation later determined that Janson had driven to Atlantic City on April 18 and bought heroin from an unidentified male.
Authorities set up a cooperative undercover operation to arrest those who may have sold heroin to Janson. The undercover operation included detectives from the Atlantic City Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of members of the state Division of Criminal Justice, State Police, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic City Police Department, state Attorney General’s Office and state Department of Parole. Also assisting were the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit, the Special Operations Group, the High Tech Crimes Unit and members of the Barnegat Police Department.
The operation resulted in McGee’s arrest April 20. When McGee — who is also known as “Money” — was arrested, authorities recovered 50 bags of heroin stamped “STINGRAY” and other evidence that connected McGee to Janson’s overdose death, Coronato said.
McGee is charged with first-degree drug-induced death, second-degree manslaughter, two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of third-degree possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and fourth-degree resisting arrest.
He is in the Ocean County jail in Toms River on $250,000 cash bail.
Staunton’s charges stem from an investigation that began Jan. 6 into his heroin-dealing activities, Coronato said.
At that time, detectives were actively building intelligence on Staunton’s area of operation, clients and his stamped product, all of which would prove significant in linking Staunton to Farino’s overdose death, Coronato said Thursday.
About 2 p.m. Jan. 16, Lacey police went to the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in the Forked River section of the township following a report of a drug overdose.
When police arrived, they found Farino lying on the floor in the dining room. He had no pulse and was not breathing. CPR was initiated until paramedics arrived on scene and continued treatment. Farino was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where he was pronounced dead.
During the investigation, detectives located several wax paper folds containing white powder that were stamped “IL CAPO” in green letters on Farino’s body. The “IL CAPO” stamped product and additional investigative evidence provided a direct link to Staunton as the dealer who supplied Farino, Coronato said.
Staunton is charged in the indictment with first-degree drug-induced death, second-degree manslaughter, two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of third-degree possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.
Staunton is also in the Ocean County jail on $250,000 cash bail.
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