New York man faces drug charges tied to 'Electric Zoo' death

NEW YORK Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:05pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man has been charged with selling the potent party drug "molly" to a 23-year-old concertgoer who died of an overdose at a massive electronic music festival last summer, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Patrick Morgan, 23, is accused of selling dozens of pills at the three-day concert on New York City's Randall's Island, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

The Electric Zoo festival was forced to shut down early after two people died of apparent drug overdoses and others were sickened.

Morgan, of Buffalo, New York, has been tied to the MDMA pills linked to the death of Jeffrey Russ, Bharara said. A 20-year-old woman from Providence, Rhode Island, also died after taking MDMA at the concert.

"As alleged, Patrick Morgan sold drugs that, far from enabling a good time, resulted in tragedy with the death of Jeffrey Russ," Bharara said.

Along with two friends, Russ purchased about 80 pills from Morgan that they planned to consume and distribute at the concert, Bharara said. Russ died from acute intoxication after collapsing from a seizure.

The concert, held during the Labor Day holiday weekend, has drawn as many as 100,000 people since its inception in 2009.

Morgan has been charged with one count of distributing narcotics and one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, Bharara said.

An attorney for Morgan could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Edith Honan)

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