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Press Release

Somerset County Man Charged With Drug Distribution Resulting In Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Somerset County man appeared in federal court yesterday on charges including drug distribution that resulted in a death, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced today.

Thomas Kane Miller, 38, of Somerset, New Jersey, is charged by federal complaint with one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin and one count of distribution of fentanyl and heroin that resulted in a death. Miller had an initial appearance before the Honorable Jessica S. Allen, United States Magistrate Judge, in Newark federal court and was detained.

According to documents filed in this case:

In October 2022, Miller distributed a mixture of fentanyl and heroin to an individual who died as a result of using the substance. Law enforcement located the deceased victim at a residence in Plainfield, New Jersey. Inside the victim’s residence were two wax folds containing fentanyl and heroin bearing a unique stamp, which law enforcement linked to Miller. Shortly before the victim’s death, the victim and Miller were communicating about arranging to meet.

Miller is also charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin arising from an incident ten days prior where he was found in possession of multiple wax folds of heroin and fentanyl bearing the same unique stamp.

The count of drug distribution resulting in death carries a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $1 million.  The count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the New York DEA Strike Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino, III, and members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John P. McDonald, and members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, with the investigation, leading to the charges.

This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny Chung of the Office’s OCDETF/Narcotics Unit, in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 6, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-195