Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Medford Township Police Chief Richard J. Meder announced that two drug dealers from Maple Shade have been charged with causing the death of a Medford Township man who fatally overdosed on methamphetamine they sold to him early last year.
Joshua Lanigan, 39, of Woodbine Road, and Jeanine Hughes, 44, of Cropwell Drive, were charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree), Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree), and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree).
The defendants were taken into custody January 15 in Maple Shade. Hughes was transported to the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, and Lanigan was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. They will face a detention hearing tomorrow in Superior Court in Mount Holly. The case will then be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury for possible indictment.
The body of the victim, 38-year-old Andrew Shelley, was discovered March 18, 2020, by a man hiking in a wooded area just off of Route 70 in Medford Township. The investigation into Shelley’s disappearance had begun February 18, 2020, after his family contacted police and reported him missing.
The probe broadened after it was suspected that illegal narcotics played a role in his death. This was confirmed by an autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood that determined Shelley died of methamphetamine toxicity.
The investigation revealed that the drugs used by Shelley during his fatal overdose had been purchased from Lanigan and Hughes, who delivered them to his home in mid-February 2020.
The defendants will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force. The investigation was conducted by the Medford Township Police Department, with assistance from the BCPO GGNTF and the Maple Shade Police Department. The lead investigator is Medford Township Police Detective William Knecht.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.