A New Jersey man is facing manslaughter charges in the Hudson Valley following an investigation into a fentanyl overdose death.

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On Wednesday, the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team reported the arrest of 24-year-old Jamal J. Thompson of New Jersey after the investigation into a fentanyl overdose death in Ulster County.

On Jan. 10, 2020, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office responded to the death of a 35-year-old man in the Town of Rochester. An investigation revealed he was the victim of a fentanyl overdose, and he was communicating by phone with a person in New Jersey about the sale of narcotics prior to his death, police say.

In February 2020, URGENT coordinated with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, New Jersey State Police and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office assigned to Paterson, NJ, resulting in the identification of Jamal Thompson as the alleged source of fentanyl responsible for the death of the Ulster County man.

Thompson was later taken into custody in Paterson, NJ by police and is accused of being in possession of several bundles of heroin at the time of his arrest. It was also learned he was on probation in New Jersey and was released in accordance with New Jersey state law.

In August 2020, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office presented the case to a grand jury in Ulster County, which resulted in an indictment for Thompson for manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

On August 25, Thompson was arrested on the indictment warrant by the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, DEA and Passaic County Sheriff’s Office at his residence. He was arraigned as a fugitive from justice and remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending extradition to Ulster County.

On Monday, Thompson was extradited to Ulster County and arraigned virtually. He was remanded to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 secured bond.

The announcement of Thompson's arrest comes one day after URGENT accused a Kingston man of possessing over 10,000 bags of heroin and fentanyl and two days after Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan declared a public health emergency due to a spike in fentanyl-related deaths in Ulster County.

From the period January through July, opioid-related deaths increased 171% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, Ryan announced.

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