Feds Charge Man in Drug-Related Death at Electric Zoo 2013

The DEA says 23-year-old Patrick Morgan sold pills that led to one of two drug-related deaths last year

Electric Zoo Randall's Island
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
A general view of Electric Zoo at Randall's Island in New York City.
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Nearly a year after the organizers of the New York City dance music festival Electric Zoo cancelled the final day of the three-day event due to two drug-related deaths, the Drug Enforcement Agency has tracked down a group of friends who allegedly sold the MDMA pills that killed one of the concertgoers. The New York Times reports that 23-year-old Patrick Morgan, who was in Buffalo at the time of his arrest last week, was charged with narcotics distribution and narcotics conspiracy, both of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Federal prosecutors say that Morgan and his friends sold approximately 80 pills to Jeffrey Russ  who collapsed at the festival of an overdose and later died — and his friends.

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One of Morgan's friends, who is unnamed, cooperated with the DEA and, this past March, met with the accused drug dealer and discussed the alleged transaction they had with Russ and his friends to provide evidence that would lead to his arrest. "Glad we got to talk about Jeff a little it was bugging me," the informant wrote in a text to Morgan, according to the criminal complaint. "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."

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Morgan appeared in a federal court and has been released on a $100,000 signature bond.

The Electric Zoo will return to New York City's Randall's Island on August 29th with increased security and new health measures in place in an effort to prevent more drug-related incidents. This year, the festival will employ drug-sniffing dogs and plainclothes security officers and will offer water with electrolytes to festivalgoers. Headliners for 2014 include David Guetta, Armin Van Burren and Kaskade, among others.