2019 American Music Awards

Man Charged With Selling Bad Molly to Electric Zoo 2013 Attendees (Report)

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
Electric Zoo 2013 at Randall's Island on Aug. 31, 2013, in New York City. 

A Buffalo, N.Y., resident, 23-year-old Patrick Morgan, has been arrested for suspected drug dealing at Electric Zoo last year, Gothamist reports. Prosecutors allege that Jeffrey Russ, a 23-year-old attendee who died from hyperthermia as a result of MDMA combined with methylone, purchased 80 hits of molly from Morgan with the intent to consume and sell them at the three-day EDM festival on Randall's Island. 

"As alleged, Patrick Morgan sold drugs that, far from enabling a good time, resulted in tragedy with the death of Jeffrey Russ," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. "It bears repeating that every time people use drugs like 'molly' they are rolling the dice with their own lives, which is a foolish and senseless wager."

Russ' death following his collapse and seizure after ingesting some of the pills resulted in the cancellation of Electric Zoo's final day and was the impetus for increased security measures the festival implemented this year. Though MDMA is advertised as the purest form of ecstasy, it is often mixed with unknown, possibly toxic chemicals, including methamphetamine and bath salts (which are believed to have been the cause of death for a festivalgoer who died at Miami's Ultra Music Festival last year). 

"Synthetic drugs such as 'molly' are extremely dangerous and have grown increasingly more popular at events such as music festivals," DEA Acting Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said. "Those who ingest it, even if for the very first time, are putting themselves at risk because they have no idea what they are putting into their bodies. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate any and all drug trafficking organizations that place lives at risk by selling these dangerous substances."


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.