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New Jersey boy, 12, dies of fentanyl overdose after cleaning uncle’s drug paraphernalia, prosecutors say

The boy was found unconscious on a school bus on Jan. 24 and died Feb. 1, according to New Jersey officials.
/ Source: NBC News

A New Jersey man has been arrested, accused of causing his 12-year-old nephew’s overdose death by forcing him to clean up drug paraphernalia that contained fentanyl

Troy Nokes, 35, was hit with a slew of charges Monday, including first-degree aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child, in connection with the death of his nephew, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Gloucester Township Police announced in a news release

The young boy, who was not identified, lived in the Blackwood, New Jersey, home where Nokes had allegedly manufactured fentanyl, the release said.

The child was found unresponsive on a school bus on Jan. 24 this year, the release said.

The boy was hospitalized and succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 1. His cause of death was ruled drug intoxication, specifically fentanyl, according to the City of Philadelphia Office of the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Nokes allegedly manufactured the drug the weekend before the child’s death and allegedly directed the child to clean up paraphernalia that contained fentanyl, prosecutors said. Witnesses indicated the boy was not wearing gloves at the time, the release stated. 

In addition to manslaughter, Nokes was also charged with first-degree strict liability drug-induced death, first degree maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production facility, employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, witness tampering, tampering with evidence, hindering apprehension and aggravated assault, among other charges, the release stated. 

A woman named Joanna Johnson was also charged in the case with tampering of evidence and hindering Nokes’ arrest, prosecutors said. NBC Philadelphia reported Johnson is Nokes’ girlfriend.

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