Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Justin Lum, of Great Neck, has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and drug possession in separate incidents resulting in the deaths of his girlfriend and a male acquaintance. Both victims – who had previously overdosed on drugs supplied by the defendant – died after he re-supplied them with heroin.
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. 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. He has now admitted his guilt and at sentencing will be ordered to serve time in prison as a result of his criminal actions.”
Lum, of Forest Row in Great Neck, Long Island, pleaded guilty on Monday, November 2. 2020 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder to two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. Justice Holder set sentencing for January 13, 2021 and indicated he will order Lum to prison for 3 to 6 years.

According to Court records, on April 27, 2017, Lum provided heroin to his girlfriend, Brooklyn resident Patricia Collado, while the two of them watched a movie at a College Point theater. After leaving the movie house, they again used heroin supplied by Lum inside a parked car. The 28-year-old woman suddenly stopped speaking and lost consciousness. The defendant sought help and pulled Ms. Collado from the vehicle at 56th Avenue and Main Street, where first responders administered Naloxone to the woman and transported her to a nearby hospital.

Continuing, said the District Attorney, the defendant stayed at the hospital with the victim until she was discharged shortly after 11 p.m., when the couple went to Lum’s grandfather’s house in Flushing. There, the pair again snorted heroin supplied by Lum and Ms. Collado abruptly went into cardiac arrest. This time, however, the defendant did not call for medical attention and attempted to provide her with medical care. For an hour, while Ms. Collado needed medical aid, the defendant continued to use drugs and then fell asleep.

Sometime after 8 a.m. the next morning, Lum woke up to find the victim beside him unconscious. Only then did he call 911 and administer CPR per the instructions of the medical dispatcher on the phone. Ms. Collado was dead when emergency medical technicians arrived. An autopsy showed she died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

According to the charges, in March 2018, Lum sold heroin to Calvin Brown, who lived in Bayside. Mr. Brown was inside Lum’s residence on March 1, 2018, when he took the drugs Lum gave him and immediately had a medical emergency. The defendant called 911 and gave the 24-year-old man CPR until first responders got there. Mr. Brown was taken to an area hospital for treatment and survived.

Continuing, Mr. Brown was discharged from the hospital on March 6, 2018. Three days later, on March 9, 2018, the victim returned to Lum’s home and bought more heroin from the defendant. The next day, Brown was found dead, by his mother, in their Queens home. An autopsy performed on Mr. Brown revealed the cause of death was acute intoxication from the combined effects of heroin, alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam and phenobarbital.

The investigation was conducted by Detectives Brian Donohue, Patrick Theodore, with the assistance of Detective Thomas Decker and other members of the New York City Police Department, under the supervision of Lieutenant Roger Reid of the NYPD’s Queens North Narcotics/Overdose Team. Special Agent Matthew Solov of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as members of the Nassau County Police Department, also assisted in this long-term investigation.

District Attorney Katz would like to thank Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas for her office’s assistance in the long-term investigation into this case.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Kirk A. Sendlein, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Efrat Blassberger, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter McCormack III Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John Kosinski and Kenneth Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.