On Friday, March 19, Jamal Thompson of Butler, New Jersey entered a guilty plea to second-degree manslaughter, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
In pleading guilty, Thompson admitted to selling drugs to an Ulster County resident on January 9, 2020 in Paterson, New Jersey, that he knew contained fentanyl and that his actions recklessly caused the death of the Ulster County resident by overdose.
This is the first ever manslaughter conviction resulting from an overdose death in Ulster County.
In August 2020, an Ulster County grand jury returned an indictment against Thompson, charging him with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, second-degree manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. The charges stemmed from an extensive investigation into the overdose death of an Ulster County resident in January of 2020. The investigation was conducted by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the URGENT taskforce, with the assistance of the DEA Office in Paterson, New Jersey, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, the New Jersey State Police and the Hudson Valley Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
“Fentanyl is the poison that is causing most of the overdose deaths in Ulster County,” said District Attorney David Clegg. “Drug traffickers who are peddling this extremely dangerous and deadly drug will be held accountable not only for the illegal sale of drugs, but for the deaths they cause whenever possible.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Lawson. The Defendant was represented by Assistant Public Defender Russell Schindler.