An alleged Atlantic City drug-trafficking leader is charged in the fentanyl-related deaths of three Atlantic County residents.
George Stokes, 41, was running a drug-trafficking network that included heroin and fentanyl, according to the charges against him. The business was run out of Atlantic City and Hamilton Township.
Hector Santos, William Ang Jr. and Caroline Boothby all died from fentanyl intoxication, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.
Santos died at his Atlantic City home on March 19. Ang, of Somers Point, died at home June 2. Boothby died Aug. 2 at home in Margate.
Stokes distributed the fatal drugs to intermediaries, who in turn distributed to the victims and others under his direction, Tyner said.
He had as many as 10 employees, some who are also charged with playing a role in distributing fatal drugs. Those charges are expected to be released later.
After months of investigation, three overdose deaths were linked to the drugs Stokes sold.
“Drug dealers should be aware that if they sell drugs that cause the deaths of others, they will be be charged with murder,” he said.
A grand jury indicted Stokes last week on 29 charges, including first-degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years, as do the three counts of drug-induced death strict liability.
He also faces four counts of operating a drug-manufacturing facility, and weapons offenses.
Stokes was the target of a shooting Nov. 3, in Atlantic City, but was not struck.
The leader of a narcotics trafficking network charge can carry a sentence of life in prison.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic City Police Department.