YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 15-count indictment charges an Upper Saddle River man with manslaughter and strict liability for a drug-induced death in the fatal overdose of a 19-year-old Ramsey man from a poly-drug mix.
The indictment returned by a grand jury in Hackensack yesterday also reveals, for the first time, that authorities have an unindicted co-conspirator prepared to testify against Darius Ghahary and two co-defendants.
The indictment also alleges that Ghahary, 45:
• Operated a drug mill with others from his home that produced, imported and distributed Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Methylone, Alprazolam (Xanax) and 25C-NBOMe, a hallucenogenic drug with LSD-like effects;
• Personally sold some of those drugs to the victim, Daniel Lajterman;
• Had his daughter destroy electronic evidence;
• Failed to pay the fees for his GPS monitoring bracelet while living with his parents under house arrest in Monmouth County.
Lajterman was graduated two years ago from Ramsey High School, where he played football with Ghahary’s son, before enrolling at Bergen Community College.
Emergency service workers who found his lifeless body in his Roandis Court bedroom on Feb. 23, 2014 initially believed that he’d died of a heroin overdose, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli at the time.
Although Lajterman was believed to be buying genuine heroin from Ghahary, he’d also received a substance that Ghahary created using Fentanyl as one of the ingredients, the prosecutor said. A synthetic opiate, Fentanyl is 80 times more potent than morphine.
Detectives seized what Molinelli called “large quantities” of Fentanyl, Oxycodone and other drugs in powder and pill form — including Xanax, Adderall, Hydromorphone, synthetic THC, steroids and Molly (MDMA) — during raids at Ghahary’s house and several storage facilities in February 2014.
“In addition, large quantities of packaging materials and cutting/mixing agents were found,” the prosecutor said. “It is believed that [Ghahary] used these controlled dangerous substances and associated cutting agents to concoct his own mixture of drugs which he purported to be heroin.”
Molinelli’s detectives and Ramsey police originally arrested Ghahary – aka “Dash” – at his home on charges of maintaining a drug manufacturing facility and distributing heroin. Bail at the time was $250,000.
As the investigation progressed, they added much more severe counts: strict liability for a drug-induced death and manslaughter, as well as hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence. Bail was boosted to $750,000 before a reduction later to $500,000.
A judge last June allowed Ghahary to be released to house arrest at his parents’ home — where detectives arrested him in December for running up a $1,700 tab by failing to pay the $10 daily fee for his monitoring bracelet.
STORY / FILE PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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