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A New Jersey man was arrested for allegedly causing the overdose death of his 12-year-old nephew, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced in a press release. Troy Nokes, 35, is accused of directing the boy to clean drug paraphernalia that contained fentanyl prior to his death. 

On January 24, local officials were notified of an unresponsive 12-year-old boy on a school bus. The school’s nurse performed “life-saving measures” on the child until EMS arrived on the scene and transported him to a local hospital. 

The boy died on February 1, the prosecutor’s office said. Medical examiners determined fentanyl intoxication as his cause of death.

Prosecutors said Nokes manufactured fentanyl in the Blackwood house where his nephew lived the weekend before his death. Nokes also directed the child to clean paraphernalia containing the drug, and, according to witnesses, the boy was not wearing gloves at the time. 

Troy Nokes, 35, is accused of causing the overdose death of his 12-year-old nephew. 

The Office of the Camden County Prosecutor

Nokes was charged with first degree aggravated manslaughter, first degree strict liability drug-induced death, first degree maintaining a CDS production facility, second degree employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, six counts of third degree endangering the welfare of a child, six counts of third degree witness tampering, one count of fourth degree tampering with evidence, two counts of third degree hindering apprehension and two counts of third degree aggravated assault, along with seven other related charges.

His co-defendant, Joanna Johnson, is charged with tampering with evidence in the incident and hindering apprehension. The two are currently being held at the Camden County Correctional Facility pending a pretrial detention hearing, the prosecutor’s office said. 

Superintendent John Bilodeau of Gloucester Township Public Schools called the incident “tragic” and urged parents to speak with their children about it “as they process the difficult emotions that result from such an occurrence.”