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Suspected Dealer from Whiting Charged in Stafford OD Probe

The probe of a drug-overdose death in Stafford Township leads investigators to a 40-year-old suspected trafficker in Manchester.

Kenneth Novak (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)
Kenneth Novak (Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

Kenneth Novak, 40, of Whiting, was arrested in connection with the death of Matthew Georgi this past September, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

He faces charges of first-degree drug-induced death, manslaughter, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with intent to distribute. A judge in Toms River set Novak’s bail at $250,000 and dispatched him to the Ocean County Jail.

Investigators accused Novak of selling the opium-based prescription pain reliever Opana, which is believed to have contributed to Georgi’s death. Ocean County’s overdose toll this year stands at 96, one and a half times the total in all of 2012.

The 32-year-old Georgi was found unresponsive and not breathing just before 12 noon inside his house on September 22, say investigators. He was pronounced dead within an hour at Southern Ocean County Medical Center in Manahawkin.

Kenneth Novak
Kenneth Novak (Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

The final autopsy report issued by the Medical Examiner on November 1 determined that Georgi’s death stemmed from “an adverse reaction” to a prescription medication. Opana was identified as a contributing factor.

Novak is the third suspect in Ocean County this year being processed under the strict liability law, which assigns responsiblity for drug deaths to the dealers who supply the narcotics.

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