Pair Charged With Manslaughter in Heroin Overdose

Bergen Catholic grad Brendan Cole, 22, died last month from a heroin overdose.

Volpe and Easton. Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.
Volpe and Easton. Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Two Paterson men who allegedly sold a lethal dose of heroin to a 22-year-old from Allendale last month were arrested Friday on second-degree manslaughter charges, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced in a release Friday.

Brendan Cole, 22, was found unresponsive in his bedroom on Jan. 4, Molinelli said. He was pronounced dead at the scene and investigators later determined he died from a heroin overdose, Molinelli said.

According to cops, Cole had purchased heroin from Timothy Volpe, 20, and Kaleik Easton, 19, both of Paterson, the night before his death.

“It is alleged that this sale of heroin to the victim by these two individuals directly led to the overdose and death,” Molinelli said.

After his death, police arranged an undercover heroin deal in which officers purchased 100 bags of heroin in Paramus from Volpe and Easton, and an associate of theirs, Molinelli said. They were immediately charged with distribution of heroin and remanded to the Bergen County Jail, authorities said. After an investigation into Cole’s death, Volpe and Easton were also charged with strict liability for drug induced death and second-degree manslaughter, Molinelli said.

Both men have been remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail each, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing, they said.

According to his obituary, Cole was born in Englewood and lived in Midland Park before moving to Allendale 15 years ago. He was a 2009 Bergen Catholic grad and a 2013 University of Richmond graduate. His funeral was held last month in Wyckoff. 

In his obituary, family members said he was “not with us for nearly long enough,” and should be remembered for touching the lives of those around him. 

Phil Brooks February 26, 2014 at 09:48 PM
Disgusted, I'm not arguing the danger of drugs and that they're more lethal than alcohol. The only thing I'm wondering is if we can find a middle ground between the complete and total failure of the War on Drugs (the stuff out there now is stronger, cheaper and more available than we started fighting this supposed war) and making them legal. That middle ground would mean eradicating drugs and somehow getting rid of everyone involved in the trade. Please tell me how to do it. // As far as I'm concerned, I'm virtually certain it can't be done. And that's why I'm for legalization. At least, at that point, we can actually get a handle on this stuff. We have none now.
disgusted February 27, 2014 at 06:51 AM
Ok if you will indulge me in some "pie in the sky thinking" Education saturation, we as a society have to find a way to keep our own people from buying the stuff. If we can reduce the need the there will be less demand. Secondly use economic sanctions against the countries that produce the stuff. Regardless if we can prove govt. complicity. If we can prove complicity take military action if the circumstances allow it. Third lower the regulations regarding quality of life in our prisons so it will help reduce cost for housing the incarcerated and will instill some fear of our penal system to those who commit these transgressions. Our penal system is the laughing stock of the underworld. Fourth, restructure the search and seizure regulations with regards to the 4th, 5th, and 6th, amendments reducing the rights of accused traffickers and sellers of Heroin, coke, lsd, meth, and molly, and most importantly improper use or distribution of prescription painkillers.
Phil Brooks February 27, 2014 at 09:24 AM
Disgusted, Education saturation? There are DARE programs and other stuff in school all over the place. I heard all the stuff about pot and LSD, complete with the scare tactics, when *I* was a kid. And that was 40+ years ago. Kids, being kids (some of them anyway) will do what they're told not to do and/or they'll respond to peer pressure ("Man, you gotta try this"), more than enough and with plenty of mommy and daddy's money, to keep the druggies in business. // Economic sanctions? Quite honestly, I think we should take care of our business at home before giving foreign aid to others, including our closest allies. But, if Colombia, let's say, has a piece of the action in the drug business (and I'm convinced they crack the whip on drug makers and kingpins in their country with one hand while making money from the stuff hand over fist with the other) they see our foreign aid as some extra cash given to them by a sucker as they'll make far more in drugs than with whatever we can threaten them with in the loss of foreign aid. // Making at least part of our penal system into something that looks like a Turkish prison? Works for me. Unfortunately, there are too many bleeding hearts who think prisoners have rights. Also unfortunately, many of the people involved as soldiers (like the two in this article) and users in this "War on Drugs" probably don't see more than five minutes into the future, probably don't see a long, successful life ahead of them and, should they end up in prison, probably have a goal of being the meanest dog in the junkyard. So, being the top dog in a tougher prison might actually be considered a feather in their cap. Not by me, of course. // Put it this way: There are already laws in place to attempt to deter drug sale and use. And, let's just say that dealing drugs in this area isn't a country club and attempting to cross up someone higher in the food chain, so to speak, will be met with more lethal consequences than whatever the US penal system can offer. And, still, with all the education and laws and the threat of retribution, the drug sub-culture is still getting new soldiers (and users) every day. What does that tell you?
disgusted February 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM
That you and I disagree and what ever you and I think as individuals will ever become law.( unfortunately).
Phil Brooks February 27, 2014 at 06:50 PM
We have laws for drugs like we have laws for guns. Neither work, as those who routinely disobey the laws think those laws don't apply to them. More and different laws and even threats will work just as poorly.


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