The synthetic opioid, fentanyl, continues to wreak its demonic head across several communities in New Jersey and beyond.

Well noted by now, fentanyl is 80-100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the DEA, and in many cases, it's mixed into drug concoctions featuring heroin.

It's part of a longstanding, ongoing epidemic in this state and country.

In 2019, overdose deaths that featured synthetic opioids like fentanyl were 12 times higher than the amount in 2013 in the U.S. meaning more than 36,000 people died as a result of it, according to the CDC.

One drug dealer who sold fentanyl to a Pemberton Township man, which led to his death in 2020, has now been sentenced to 12-years in prison, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.

Marvin Montoya, 35, who pleaded guilty in January of 2022 under an agreement with the Burlington County Prosecutors Office to Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (first degree), has to serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

“Fentanyl continues to take a horrendous toll on the residents of Burlington County,” Prosecutor Coffina said in a written statement. “We reaffirm our commitment to fighting the unrelenting epidemic of Substance Use Disorder with every tool in our arsenal, from expanded access to treatment through our Straight ... to Treatment program, to continuing to hold drug dealers accountable by pursuing this first-degree charge in every case where the evidence supports it.”

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Michael Williams, 23, was found dead by a relative in their Browns Mills home on August 11, 2020, after he didn't get up for work that day.

Pemberton Township Police began investigating and learned that Williams had gone to Trenton and bought the drugs from Montoya.

It later caused his death, which Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined was due to fentanyl toxicity.

Montoya was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Laura Heisman.

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