UNION COUNTY, NJ — The two people who allegedly provided a Linden man with the drugs that killed him last summer have been criminally charged in connection with the man’s death, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday, March 14.
Alexandria Marcino, 24, of Clark and Joseph Colatrella, 26, of Elizabeth are charged with first-degree strict liability for a drug-induced death and two related third-degree drug offenses in connection with the fatal overdose suffered by Bruce Jirinec Jr., 31, of Linden.
Jirinec was found dead in his home by a family member shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015; drug paraphernalia and narcotics were recovered at the scene.
The narcotics later were determined to have been acetyl fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to heroin, but more potent. A joint investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Linden Police Department determined that Jirinec contacted Marcino regarding the drugs and acquired them from Colatrella mere hours before his death.
A search for the two defendants culminated Friday afternoon in Woodbridge, with members of the Clark and Union County police departments, and Union County Sheriff’s Office assisting Homicide Task Force detectives in locating and arresting Marcino and Colatrella.
Both defendants were lodged in Union County Jail on $75,000 bail.
First-degree crimes are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.
These charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.