BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bridgewater man was found guilty Monday for selling heroin to a Hillsborough man who died after overdosing on the drug in 2013.
Christopher Krafsky, 33, was found guilty of the first degree crime of strict liability for a drug induced death.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano, Krafsky will face between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State prison, with 85 percent of the prison term to be served without parole. A sentencing is scheduled for February 2016.
Soriano said that, on Dec. 24, 2013 at about 6 a.m., Hillsborough resident Lisa Johnson found her son 22-year-old Richard Johnson, dead in the basement of their home. Narcotics paraphernalia was found near him at the time of death, Johnson said, and suggested that he died of a heroin overdose.
Soriano said cause of death was confirmed to be heroin toxicity, following an autopsy by the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner and a toxicology report from the State Toxicology Laboratory. There was expert testimony presented at trial, Soriano said, which confirmed that Johnson's fatal heroin ingestion was recent, within hours of his death.
Hillsborough Township Police Department conducted a criminal investigation and found text messages on Johnson's cell phone that was in his pocket at time of death, Soriano said. The messages, Soriano said, show that Johnson had been reaching out via texts to someone listed as "Mat" on Dec. 23, 2013.
Soriano said the texts showed he was attempting to meet "Mat" on the night of Dec. 23, and he was asking to buy narcotics. In addition, Soriano said, it was apparent that "Mat" was agreeing to seel the drugs with a price and quantity communicated.
Police found subscriber information associated with the telephone number belonging to "Mat," Soriano said, and found that the telephone number was registered to a P.O. Box in California, under the name Christopher Krafsky. It was found that someone with that name lived in Bridgewater, Soriano said.
In January 2014, Soriano said, a Hillsborough Township Police Department detective met Krafsky at the Bridgewater Commons Mall, and said he was investigating the death of Richard Johnson. Krafsky recognized a picture of him, Soriano said, and admitted he had sold Johnson three bags of heroin for $15 per bag on the night of Dec. 23, 2013 in Somerville.
"The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has long been intent on using tools like the criminal statute for strict liability for drug-induced deaths to deter those who choose to illegally partake in the sale of controlled dangerous substances," Soriano said in a release. "From this prosecution, the resounding message to dealers throughout New Jersey is that the sale of just three bags of heroin - or even one bag, for that matter - can result in an extremely significant prison sentence."