Man Pleads Guilty to Drug-Related Death at 2013 Electric Zoo
A man whom Feds claimed sold drugs that led to the death of a festivalgoer at the 2013 Electric Zoo has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics, according to The Associated Press.
Patrick Morgan, 24, told the Federal District Court in Manhattan that he had indeed acted illegally by agreeing to obtain ecstasy for a friend in August 2013. The friend then sold approximately 80 pills to concertgoer Jeffrey Russ and his friends. Russ collapsed at the New York City festival and later died at age 23 of acute intoxication from the pills and hyperthermia.
Morgan, whom authorities say also previously sold pills to Russ and his friends, will likely face less than a year in prison because of an agreement his lawyer arranged with prosecutors over sentencing.
The Drug Enforcement Agency arrested the Buffalo, New York resident in July after an unnamed friend of his cooperated with the Feds and provided them with incriminating evidence. At the time of his arrest, the DEA charged Morgan with narcotics distribution and narcotics conspiracy, which each carried maximum sentences of 20 years in prison. He was later released on a $100,000 bond.
Russ’ death, along with an unrelated overdose-related death, prompted the cancellation of the final day of the festival that year. Four other attendees were reportedly hospitalized and 31 people were arrested that year.
The Electric Zoo returned this year with increased security and new health measures, including drug-sniffing dogs and plainclothes security personnel, with an eye toward preventing further drug-related issues. Organizers also required festivalgoers to watch a PSA before entering the Electric Zoo.