ELIZABETH, NJ – An Elizabeth man was criminally charged with providing a Linden man with the drugs that killed him last summer, said acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, March 14.

Joseph Colatrella, 26, of Elizabeth, was charged along with Alexandria Marcino, 24, of Clark 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 31-year-old Bruce Jirinec Jr. of Linden.

Jirinec was found dead in his home by a family member on Thursday, August 6, 2015, and drug paraphernalia and narcotics, determined to have been acetyl fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to heroin, but far more potent, were recovered at the scene.

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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 hours before his death.

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.