News

2 Men Arrested and Charged with First Degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Death

January 18, 2019

Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland and Cape May City Police Chief Anthony Marino announce the arrest of Francis Leszczynski, a 79 year old male and Paul Neville, a 59 year old male, both residents Lower Township, on first degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Death charges.

On July 30, 2018, Cape May City Police responded to a 9-1-1 call of an unresponsive female at a residence in the 700 block of Grand Avenue in West Cape May. Upon arrival, police discovered Susan Perkins, a 59 year old female, lying on the floor next to her bed. Rescue efforts were immediately attempted to resuscitate Perkins but were not successful.

A subsequent joint investigation was conducted by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Detective Unit of the Cape May City Police Department. An autopsy was conducted by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and it was determined that Perkins’ cause of death was from the effects of ingesting heroin and fentanyl. During the course of the investigation it was determined that both Francis Leszczynski, and Paul Neville were responsible for selling and facilitated getting the Heroin that Perkins ingested.

As a result, on January 17, 2019 both Leszczynski and Neville were arrested and charged with Strict Liability for Drug Inducted Death, a crime of the first degree. Neville was also charged with, Hindering Apprehension, a crime of the third degree. Both males were subsequently lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Facility pending Court proceedings.

Prosecutor Sutherland advises that persons convicted of a first degree crime are subject to a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and persons convicted of a third degree crime are subject to a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years.

Prosecutor Sutherland and Chief Marino recognize the efforts of all the law enforcement officers involved in this investigation which resulted in the arrest of these individuals who were distributing heroin and fentanyl in Cape May County.

Prosecutor Sutherland urges anyone who has information concerning this investigation or any illegal activity within the community to report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers, 609-465-2800 or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135.

* Any charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty.