The arrest comes just weeks before Electric Zoo returns with added safety measures
Federal prosecutors charged a man in Buffalo for allegedly distributing the drugs that led to the death of a concertgoer at the Electric Zoo music festival last year.
Patrick Morgan, 23, was arrested Wednesday after authorities traced the drugs to their alleged source.
According to the criminal complaint, Jeffrey Russ and two friends pooled money to buy pills of MDMA, more commonly known in its street form as ecstasy or Molly, ahead of the three-day New York City festival last year. Russ was one of two people at Electric Zoo who died of drug-related causes, prompting the festival to cut the program short by a day under the advice of the city.
Morgan is charged in Manhattan federal court with one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics and one count of distributing narcotics. Each charge carries up to 20 years in prison.
“As alleged, Patrick Morgan sold drugs that, far from enabling a good time, resulted in tragedy with the death of Jeffrey Russ. It bears repeating that every time people use drugs like ‘Molly’ they are rolling the dice with their own lives, which is a foolish and senseless wager,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Morgan was released on signature bond, according to the Times.
The arrest comes amid a movement by federal and state authorities to pursue people who distribute drugs that end in users’ deaths, according to the New York Times. Earlier this month, a man was convicted of manslaughter for prescribing oxycodone, among other medications, to patients who later died from them, the Times reports.
Earlier this year, Electric Zoo announced plans to increase safety measures at this year’s event, being held next month. They also plan to crack down on drug use by using drug-sniffing dogs and undercover security officers.