A Long Branch man has been sentenced to serve six years in state prison as a result of a plea to the first degree crime of strict liability for drug induced death.
The charges stem from an overdose death that took place in February 2020 in Tinton Falls, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Lateef Reevey, 31, was sentenced on Feb. 17 by state Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas to six years in state prison subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA). Pursuant to NERA, Reevey will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.
Reevey also received a five-year term in state prison for an unrelated charge of conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), which will run concurrent to the strict liability charge, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Reevey previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 14, 2020 in connection with the fatal
overdose death of Lucy Yardley, 25, of Flanders, who died on Feb. 21, 2020.
Under New Jersey law, a person who distributes a CDS is strictly liable for a death which results from the injection, inhalation or ingestion of that substance, according to the prosecutor.
Shortly after 6 p.m. Feb. 21, 2020, the Tinton Falls Police Department received a report of a possible overdose victim in a local motel room. The responding officers located Yardley lying on the bathroom floor in a room at the motel. She was unconscious and not breathing.
Despite the lifesaving efforts of the Tinton Falls Police Department, the Tinton Falls First Aid Squad and MONOC paramedics, Yardley was pronounced deceased, Gramiccioni said.
An investigation was launched by the Tinton Falls Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office into Yardley’s death and the origins of the heroin she ingested. The investigation identified Reevey as having communicated with Yardley the day prior.
The next day, Feb. 22, 2020, police officers located Reevey in the parking lot of the same Tinton Falls motel. Reevey was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin and cocaine, packaged for sale, and two cellular telephones.
Upon being approached by police officers, Reevey broke one of the two phones, which he had used to communicate with Yardley two days earlier.
Reevey was taken into custody and charged with two counts of third degree possession of CDS, two counts of third degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, one count of third degree conspiracy to distribute, one count of fourth degree tampering with physical evidence and the disorderly persons offense of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the press release.