Rockaway Borough Woman Sentenced in Connection with November 2018 Fatal Drug Overdose Death

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Chief of Investigations Chris Kimker, and Rockaway Borough Police Chief Conrad Pepperman announce that Natalia Zyga, age 30, with a last known address in Rockaway Township, has been convicted and sentenced in connection with the fatal drug overdose of Sasha Truesdale that occurred on November 23, 2018. Zyga was sentenced to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison and must serve 85% of this sentence before being eligible for parole.

The investigation stems from a November 23, 2018, report of a female who was unconscious and not breathing. The female, who was pronounced as deceased at the scene, was identified as Sasha Truesdale. The investigation would reveal that Truesdale was the victim of a fatal drug overdose.

In pleading guilty, Natalia E. Zyga admitted that she distributed heroin and fentanyl to Truesdale in Rockaway Borough and that Truesdale’s ingestion of that heroin and fentanyl resulted in Truesdale’s death. Zyga pled guilty to Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9. This statute provides that any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses any of a number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance.

Sentence was imposed by the Hon. Robert E. Hanna, J.S.C. The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Kelly A. Sandler in this matter.

Prosecutor Knapp thanks the members of the Rockaway Borough Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Special Enforcement Unit, and the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office who contributed to this investigation and prosecution.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.

Members of Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Attend Career Fair at Morris County School of Technology

On May 7, 2019, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Supervisor Patrick LaGuerre and Detective Kerri Griffin attended a career fair at the Morris County School of Technology. As the detective assigned to the Community Outreach and Recruitment Unit, Detective Supervisor LaGuerre attended the career fair to provide information to the students concerning careers in law enforcement.

A substantial number of high school students enrolled in the Morris County School of Technology Law and Public Safety program stopped by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office table to learn more about opportunities in law enforcement and the legal field. Information that they received regarding applying for positions with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office can be found at, https://prosecutor.morriscountynj.gov/employment/.

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said, “It is always encouraging to hear that there is a continued interest in pursuing careers in the law enforcement sector throughout our high schools”.

Members of Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Attend Career Fair at Morris County School of Technology
Detective Griffin and Detective Supervisor LaGuerre

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.

Morris County Prosecutor Announces New Hire

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the hiring and swearing in of Tiffany Russo as an Assistant Morris County Prosecutor.

Assistant Prosecutor Russo was officially given her oath of office on May 6, 2019 by the Hon. Stephen Taylor, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. Assistant Prosecutor Russo will be assigned to the Appellate Unit. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Criminal Justice, and attended Seton Hall University School of Law following her graduation from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to joining the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Assistant Prosecutor Russo worked as a Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor in the Appellate Section of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “We are excited to have Assistant Prosecutor Russo join the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Her past experiences will prove to be a valuable addition to our ranks”.

Morris County Prosecutor Announces New Hire
Prosecutor Knapp and AP Russo

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.