Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that two Wrightstown drug dealers have been charged with causing the death of a customer who fatally overdosed on fentanyl laced with an animal tranquilizer sold to him in September 2021.
Rajik Morphis, 39, of West Main Street in Wrightstown, and Ozell Sutton, 39, also of Wrightstown, were charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree), Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree) and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree).
Sutton was arrested as a search warrant was executed at his residence on May 17 by members of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the New Jersey State Police. Morphis was taken into custody the next day by officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department.
The defendants are being held in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending detention hearings in Superior Court.
The investigation began the morning of September 2, 2021, when New Jersey State Police troopers were dispatched to a West Main Street apartment in Wrightstown for a call to provide medical assistance. Upon arrival, they found Emergency Medical Services personnel treating an unresponsive adult male for an apparent overdose.
Troopers and EMS technicians attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation but were unable to revive the victim. Nicholas DiCola, 35, was pronounced dead just after 6 a.m. The investigation revealed that DiCola fatally overdosed on drugs he purchased from Morphis and Sutton.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined DiCola died of fentanyl and xylazine toxicity. Xylazine is a veterinary sedative that is being seen more frequently lately as an additive in heroin and fentanyl sold on the street.
The case was investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the New Jersey State Police, with assistance from the Pemberton Township Police Department and the Burlington County Medical Examiner’s Office. Morphis and Sutton will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force (GGNTF).
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.