Nov. 5, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A Long Island drug dealer pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in Queens Supreme Court Monday for peddling heroin that killed his girlfriend and a male acquaintance in separate incidents.
Justin Lum, 30, of Great Neck, supplied both victims with the poison after each had survived heroin overdoses on drugs he had provided before, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
Lum is the first person to be held criminally responsible for an overdose death in Queens County.
Lum, according to the charges, provided his girlfriend Patricia Collado of Brooklyn with heroin on April 27, 2017 and twice she overdosed that same day — the second time fatally.
The couple used the heroin he supplied inside a parked car in Flushing when Collado, 28, suddenly stopped speaking and lost consciousness, according to the charges. Lum sought the help of first responders who came and administered Naloxone. They then rushed Collado to a nearby hospital.
Lum stayed at the hospital with Collado until she was discharged shortly after 11 p.m. The couple then went to Lum’s grandfather’s house in Flushing and again snorted heroin, according to court records.
Collado abruptly went into cardiac arrest, but Lum didn’t call for medical attention this time, authorities said. Instead he attempted to help her himself, but continued to use drugs and then fell asleep, according to the charges.
Sometime after 8 a.m. the next day, he awoke to find Collado beside him unconscious and called 911. He attempted to revive her by administering CPR, but Collado was dead when emergency responders arrived.
Collado died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine, according to an autopsy report.
Nearly a year later, Lum sold heroin to a 24-year-old Bayside man on March 1 and March 9, 2018 which caused him to overdose both times. The victim, Calvin Brown, didn’t survive the second overdose.
Lum first sold the drugs to Brown at his home on March 1, 2018. Brown took the drugs while at Lum’s house and immediately began to overdose. Lum called 911 and gave Brown CPR until first responders arrived and took him to an area hospital, according to court records.
Brown survived and was discharged from the hospital on March 6, 2018. Three days later, he returned to Lum’s home to buy more heroin. The next day, on March 10, Brown was found dead by his mother in their Bayside home, the charges state.
According to an autopsy, Brown died of acute intoxication from the combined effects of heroin, alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam and phenobarbital.
Lum provided heroin to each victim after witnessing each nearly die of a fatal overdose, District Attorney Katz said.
“Despite knowing how close each had come to dying, the defendant again provided heroin – at least one dose laced with Fentanyl – to the victims,” Katz said. “This defendant – an admitted drug dealer – is the first in Queens County to be held criminally responsible for the deaths of people who died after ingesting the poison he supplied to them.”
Lum pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He will be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2021 and is expected to get 3 to 6 years in prison.