CAMDEN, N.J. (PIX11) — A New Jersey man was charged with manslaughter this week after prosecutors alleged he forced his 12-year-old nephew to clean fentanyl paraphernalia, which caused the boy to fatally overdose.
Troy Nokes, 35, was also charged with Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death and Employing a Juvenile in a Drug Distribution Scheme, along with multiple other counts.
The tragedy unfolded on Jan. 24, when the boy was found unresponsive on his school bus. A school nurse performed life-saving measures until EMS arrived, and the student was transported to a local hospital near Blackwood.
The boy and his uncle lived in the same household in Blackwood.
The child died on Feb. 1, and the medical examiner’s office in Philadelphia performed the autopsy, “which determined the cause of death was drug intoxication, specifically fentanyl,” according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor’s office said the uncle had manufactured fentanyl the weekend before the boy’s overdose.
Troy Nokes is accused of directing the deceased child to clean paraphernalia that contained fentanyl. According to the prosecutor’s office, “witnesses indicate that the child was not wearing gloves at the time.”
Fentanyl is a highly-lethal opioid that can be absorbed through the skin.
Prosecutors also charged a co-defendant, Joanna Johnson, in the case. They said Johnson tampered with evidence and hindered the apprehension of Troy Nokes.
Nokes and Johnson were arrested by the United States Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force. They’re being held at the Camden County Correctional Facility, pending a pre-trial detention hearing.
The prosecutor’s office asked anyone with additional information to call Detective Lateasha Jones at (856)-335-8658 or Gloucester Township Police Detective Mark Grodzielanek at (856)-374-5718. Tips can be sent anonymously to email@example.com.