Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina, Delran Township Police Chief Alfonso A. Parente Jr., and Riverside Township Police Chief William T. Eliason announced that a 27-year-old Delran drug dealer has been charged with causing the death of a Riverside customer who fatally overdosed on fentanyl in late 2018.
David Bender, of the Hunters Glen apartment complex on Route 130, was charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree) and Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree).
He was taken into custody on August 20 by Delran Township patrol officers and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will then be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury for possible indictment.
The investigation began in October 2018 after Riverside Township police officers were dispatched to an apartment to conduct a wellness check on a man who was locked in a bedroom and unresponsive. Upon arrival, officers found the body of Kenneth Rocco, 38, who was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that Rocco’s death was due to fentanyl toxicity. The investigation revealed the drugs that led to Rocco’s fatal overdose had been purchased from Bender.
Bender will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force.
The case was investigated by the Delran Township Police Department, the Riverside Township Police Department, the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.