OCPO CONTINUES ITS SUCCESSFUL EFFORTS IN DEALER PROSECUTIONS DRUG DISTRIBUTOR PLEADS GUILTY IN OCEAN COUNTY DRUG INDUCED DEATH
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the guilty plea by Rufus Young, 42, of Freehold, NJ, to one count of First Degree Drug Induced Death in connection with the February 6, 2013 death of Jamie Caravella, 23, in Toms River. Young was charged on April 28, 2014 with Caravella’s death, along with Paul E. Robinson, 25, of Toms River and Pedro A. Valentin Jr, 24, of Perth Amboy, NJ.
His sentencing is currently set for September 18, 2015. The state prosecution, led by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michael Weatherstone, is recommending thirteen years to the custody of the New Jersey State Department of Corrections. This sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act, mandating that Young must serve 85% of his sentence before he could be considered for release on parole. Furthermore, the defendant will be subject to five years of parole supervision upon his release. Finally, this sentence may run concurrently or consecutively to his federal sentence. That decision will be made by the Judge at sentencing.
The charges against Young, Robinson and Valentin stem from an investigation which began on February 6, 2013 at approximately 5:07am when the Toms River Police Department received a 911 telephone call advising of an unresponsive female at a Pine Crest Drive address in Toms River. TRPD Officer Ronald Bayer arrived at the location to find Jamie Caravella lying on the floor of a bedroom in the residence not breathing and with no pulse. Empty bags of heroin and a needle were found near Caravella. Toms River Medic Unit #11, along with MONOC #212, arrived on scene and the victim was pronounced dead at approximately 5:27am via telephone with Newark Beth Israel Hospital.
On February 7, 2013, a post mortem examination was conducted by the Office of the Ocean County Medical Examiner. The autopsy provided a critical piece of evidence needed to solidify the charges against Young, Valentin, and Robinson. The Medical Examiner found the cause of death was a negative reaction to heroin.
Young was served by Ocean County Prosecutor Detective John Carroll and Toms River Ptl. Andy Chenchirk with his arrest warrant on 4/29/14 at approximately 3pm in the Monmouth County Correctional Facility. Young has been incarcerated there since March 27, 2014 on Federal Narcotic charges. Valentin was arrested on 4/29/14 with the help of the Perth Amboy Special Investigations Bureau, at approximately 9:30pm at 156 Gordon Street in Perth Amboy, NJ. Robinson subsequently fled the state and was arrested on May 1, 2014 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Mebane, North Carolina.
The Major Crimes Unit of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Special Enforcement Team (SET) of the Toms River Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Criminalistics Investigation Unit all contributed to the investigation culminating in the charges filed against Young, Robinson and Valentin.