Long Island drug dealer pleads guilty in two overdose deaths: DA

Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News
·2 min read

A Long Island drug dealer has pleaded guilty to providing the heroin that killed two people — including his girlfriend, Queens prosecutors said Wednesday.

Justin Lum, 31, of Great Neck, is the first dope peddler to have ever been held responsible for deadly overdoses in the city.

According to officials, Lum saw both his girlfriend Patricia Collado and longtime customer Calvin Brown overdose after taking his drugs, yet kept on giving them more.

On April 27, 2017, Lum and Collado, 28, got high at a movie theater in College Point, Queens, where the pair snorted lines of heroin from a cell phone as they watched a film, authorities said.

Afterward, the couple got high again inside a parked car, where Collado suddenly stopped talking and passed out, prosecutors said. First responders administered a life-saving antidote naloxone and transported her to a hospital nearby.

But even after Collado was discharged later that night, the couple went to Lum’s grandfather’s home in Flushing and snorted more of Lum’s heroin stash, according to court papers. And though Collado went into cardiac arrest, and was foaming at the mouth, Lum didn’t call 911, telling authorities he “didn’t want to call the ambulance again.”

He finally sought help the next morning when his girlfriend died; an autopsy revealed the heroin she consumed was laced with fentanyl.

Prosecutors said about a year later, Lum supplied heroin to Brown, who survived a near-fatal overdose in Lum’s home after the drug dealer called 911 and administered CPR. Just days later, Brown got more heroin from Lum, and died from an overdose at his mother’s Queens home. An autopsy determined he’d taken Xanax and several other narcotics with the heroin.

Lum later told another customer he thought he was in the clear in both cases because he’d tried to save them, according to prosecutors.

In a plea deal Monday, Lum pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance with the understanding he’d be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison.

His sentencing is scheduled for January. Before the deal, he faced a minimum of 26 years, officials said.

“Despite knowing how close each had come to dying, the defendant again provided heroin – at least one dose laced with Fentanyl – to the victims," Queens DA Melinda Katz said Wednesday. "He has now admitted his guilt and at sentencing will be ordered to serve time in prison as a result of his criminal actions.”

During his arraignment last year, Lum’s attorney, Scott Carrigan, said the drug dealer was also an addict and was getting treatment.

A call to Carrigan for comment wasn’t immediately returned.

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