ARREST OF DEALER IN OD DEATH CONTINUES TO SEND STRONG OCPO NO DEALER ZONE MESSAGE
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Stafford Township Police Chief Thomas Dellane today announced the arrest of Peter Caragiani, 23, of Barnegat, NJ in connection with the drug induced death of Michael Nugent, 24, of Stafford.
Caragiani was taken into custody on Tuesday (12/20) at 11:45 pm by Stafford Township Det. John Schweigart and Ocean County Prosecutor Major Crimes Det. John Carroll at Caragiani’s residence on James Hollow Way in Barnegat. He was charged with Strict Liability Drug Induced Death, Manslaughter, Poss. of Fentanyl, Poss w/intent to Distribute Fentanyl and Distribution of Fentanyl. The criminal charges were reviewed and approved by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco. He has been housed in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $150,000 cash bail set by the Honorable Judge James. M. Blaney.
Peter Caragiani’s arrest stems from the death investigation of Michael Nugent begun on November 7, 2016. On that date at approximately 10:18 pm, the Stafford Township Police department was dispatched to a death investigation at a South Main Street address in Stafford. The arriving officers found Michael Nugent, 24, who resided at the residence unresponsive. He was ultimately pronounced deceased by Dr. Isokovic of Newark Beth Israel Hospital
Officers on scene, observing signs of a drug overdose, immediately, per the Prosecutor’s directive, contacted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit to respond. The ensuing intensive investigation would ultimately lead back to Caragiani and link him to Michael Nugent’s overdose death.
The investigation was conducted by the Stafford Police Department Drug Enforcement Team, Ocean County Special Operation Group and the Ocean County Major Crime Unit, with assistance from Ocean County Sherriff’s Department CSI.
The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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