A Great Neck man pleaded guilty in a Queens courtroom Monday to supplying heroin to his girlfriend and a male friend, both of whom fatally overdosed on the narcotics, prosecutors said.
Justin Lum became the first drug dealer in Queens to be charged with the death of his customers after he pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.
Both victims had previously overdosed on drugs supplied by Lum, prosecutors said.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder is expected to sentence Lum to 3 to 6 years in prison on Jan. 13.
"Despite knowing how close each had come to dying, the defendant again provided heroin — at least one dose laced with Fentanyl — to the victims," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. "This defendant — an admitted drug dealer — is the first in Queens County to be held criminally responsible for the deaths of people who died after ingesting the poison he supplied to them."
Scott Carrigan, Lum's Garden City-based defense attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
In April 2017, Lum supplied heroin to his girlfriend, Patricia Collado, 28, of Brooklyn, which they snorted at a movie theater in College Point and inside a parked car outside the theater, prosecutors said. Collado passed out and Lum called police, who rescued her after administering naloxone, authorities said
The next day Collado was released from the hospital and Lum provided her with more heroin at his grandfather's home in Flushing, prosecutors said.
But this time, when Collado went into cardiac arrest — with foam oozing from her mouth — Lum continued to snort more drugs and went to sleep, officials said. He discovered Collado the following morning and called 911 but she was already dead, investigators said.
Less than a year later, in March 2018, Lum supplied heroin to Calvin Brown, 24, of Bayside, who overdosed, prosecutors said. Lum called 911 and performed CPR until first responders arrived, officials said.
Brown survived but came back three days later looking for more drugs, authorities said. Lum provided Brown with more heroin and he was found dead the next day by his mother, prosecutors said.
In 2018, Roxy Headley Jr., of Mastic Beach, became the first person charged in New York State with manslaughter for dealing drugs that led to a fatal overdose. He later pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a Suffolk County courtroom.
Since then others who supplied drugs that led to fatal overdoses have been similarly charged on Long Island.