Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Lumberton Township Police Chief Nicholas Peditto announced that a Mount Holly woman has been charged with causing the death of a Lumberton resident who fatally overdosed earlier this year on the fentanyl she sold to him.
Linda Naulty, 53, was charged July 12 with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree) and Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree). The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Naulty was served with the charges at the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, where Burlington County’s female inmates are held. She was lodged in the facility in February after being charged with multiple counts of possessing and planning to sell illegal narcotics in connection with the same case.
The investigation began on February 8 after Lumberton police officers and emergency medical technicians were dispatched to the 500 block of Main Street 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. When taken into custody, she had in her possession multiple doses of fentanyl and nearly $1,400 in cash.
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.
Under New Jersey law, “any person who knowingly manufactures and distributes a controlled dangerous substance will be held liable for the death caused by the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of the substance.”
Since 2017, there have been 27 defendants charged in Burlington County with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death. Ten have been convicted or pled guilty, and another five have been indicted. The remaining cases are pending presentation to a grand jury.
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.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.