Press Release


For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2024

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of JORDAN CLARKE (DOB: 1/22/2000; single; unemployed) of 60 Palisade Avenue, Westwood, NJ for strict liability and drug distribution-related charges. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Acting Chief Matthew Finck and the Park Ridge Police Department under the direction of Chief Joseph Madden.

On Thursday, September 14, 2023, the Park Ridge Police Department responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive teenage juvenile. Responding officers located the juvenile victim, and life-saving measures were initiated, including the administration of naloxone. The victim was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter. Indicators of a possible drug overdose were noted, and detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force were notified. It was subsequently determined that the victim ingested a fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pill, and the cause of death was from acute fentanyl intoxication.

An investigation was initiated by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Park Ridge Police Department into the death of the teenage juvenile and the related drug activity. The six-month-long investigation revealed that JORDAN CLARKE distributed a fatal dose of narcotics to the victim, causing the juvenile’s death.

As a result of the investigation, on March 8, 2024, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Park Ridge Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of a relative of JORDAN CLARKE in Paterson, NJ, where CLARKE was staying, and located evidence related to this investigation. CLARKE was charged with first-degree strict liability in a drug-induced death, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9; third-degree distribution of fentanyl, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(5); and third-degree distribution of alprazolam, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(13). CLARKE was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ.

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would like to thank the Park Ridge Police Department for its assistance in this investigation.