Federal agents make arrest in death of SU alum at Electric Zoo

Federal agents arrested a former Syracuse University student believed to be responsible for selling molly that killed an alumnus at Electric Zoo music festival.

Patrick Morgan, 23, was arrested in Buffalo on July 30, and charged with narcotics distribution and narcotics conspiracy charges. Morgan is accused of selling more than $1,000 worth of MDMA responsible for the death of Jeffrey Russ, the SU alumnus who died from an overdose at Electric Zoo last year.

Morgan was a former SU student who studied biochemistry before dropping out. Russ graduated in 2012.

In mid-August, Morgan sold about 80 molly pills to Russ and his friends. He had previously sold molly to Russ a few weeks before, at another electronic music concert in Buffalo, according to the criminal complaint.

“As alleged, Patrick Morgan sold drugs that, far from enabling a good time, resulted in tragedy with the death of Jeffrey Russ,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “It bears repeating that everytime people use drugs like ‘Molly’ they are rolling the dice with their own lives, which is a foolish and senseless wager.”

New York City medical examiners ruled that Russ died from a combination of an overdose of MDMA and hyperthermia with a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

In March, federal officers recruited Russ’s friends as informants to aid with the investigation. Court documents showed this text message exchange between Morgan and Russ’s friend:

Individual-1: “Hey it was great to see you last week. Glad we got to talk about Jeff a little it was bugging me. Just know that I no longer blame us for giving the molly to him because it was him that made the mistake of taking too much.”

Morgan: “Yeah man u too call me whenever u want.”

Morgan faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison for each charge, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. The case is being prosecuted by the district’s narcotics unit.



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