New York man pleads guilty in drug case tied to 'Electric Zoo' death

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2014 3:02 PM

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An upstate New York man pleaded guilty on Thursday of conspiring to distribute the potent drug "molly" that was ultimately given to a 23-year-old man who died of an overdose at an electronic music festival last summer.

Patrick Morgan, 24, admitted to supplying the drug to a friend in Buffalo, New York, who intended to distribute it at the Electric Zoo three-day concert on New York City's Randall's Island.

"I knew what I was doing was wrong and illegal," Morgan said.

The Electric Zoo festival was forced to shut down early in 2013 after two people died of apparent drug overdoses and others were sickened.

MDMA pills originating with Morgan were linked to the death of Jeffrey Russ, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. A 20-year-old woman from Providence, Rhode Island, also died after taking MDMA at the concert.

"With today's guilty plea, Patrick Morgan now stands convicted of conspiring to distribute the drug Molly, which led to the tragic death of Jeffery Russ," Bharara said in a statement.

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

Morgan, who pleaded guilty to just one of three counts against him in the indictment, faces up to 16 months in prison under federal guidelines when he is sentenced March 13.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)