Man charged in MDMA-related death at Electric Zoo festival

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jul 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-30 15:48:44-04

NEW YORK (PIX11) — A New York man has been charged with dealing MDMA pills to an Electric Zoo festival-goer who collapsed and died after taking the drug.

Morgan was arrested Wednesday morning in Buffalo, NY and has been charged with conspiring to distribute and distributing narcotics, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

In August of last year, 23-year-old Patrick Morgan, allegedly sold 80 pills containing “MDMA,” or “ecstasy,” and methylone, or “Molly,” to Jeffery Russ and his two friends.

An estimated 130,000 went to Randall’s Island in New York in August of 2013 to attend the festival.  The festival was shut down early after two people died and several others were sickened.

Russ and his friends bought more pills from Morgan with the intention of using the drug themselves and selling pills at E-Zoo last year, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Manhattan court Wednesday.

The three friends followed through with their plan: they attended E-Zoo and took the pills they allegedly purchased from Morgan.  At the end of concert on Aug. 30, Russ collapsed and had a seizure.

He was treated by Emergency Medical Services at Randall’s Island, and then taken to Harlem Hospital, where he arrived unresponsive.

Hours later, he died of acute intoxication from the combined effects of methylone, MDMA and hyperthermia.

DEA Acting Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said “Synthetic drugs such as ‘Molly’ are extremely dangerous and have grown increasingly more popular at events such as music festivals. Those who ingest it, even if for the very first time, are putting themselves at risk because they have no idea what they are putting into their bodies.”

Morgan will be arraigned in the Western District of New York on Wednesday.