Moore County man charged in death by fentanyl overdose that occurred in Chatham County

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of Nathanial Lynn Rush, 28, of 521 Fox Spring Drive, Robbins, in connection with a death by overdose which occurred in the Bear Creek area of Chatham County. Authorities say an autopsy was performed on the victim and revealed the cause of death to be a fatal mixture of methamphetamine and fentanyl; according to Chatham County investigators, the victim obtained the controlled substance from Rush on the day he died.

Nathanial Lynn Rush

The crime falls under North Carolina’s “Death by Distribution” Act, which first took effect on December 1, 2019. NC Governor Roy Cooper signed the Act (NCGS §14-18.4) into law in response to the increasing number of deaths related to the opioid epidemic. The law allows for the prosecution of individuals who sell drugs to buyers who later overdose as a result of using those controlled substances.

Rush was arrested in Moore County on December 6, 2022, after Chatham County deputies charged him with felony death by distribution. He was assigned a $100,000 secured bond and held in Moore County awaiting transfer to the Chatham County Detention Center. He is due to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on December 14.

“Our staff members take public health and safety seriously, and we recognize that drug abuse and addiction impacts us all. Law enforcement must continue working together with the community to create lasting change,” says Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson. “As we unite, we must be willing to share resources, ideas, and experiences in order to make educated decisions on behalf of our families and shared community. We have to support one another.”

Sheriff Roberson also stresses that arrests are only a small piece of a greater plan developed and implemented by the Sheriff’s Prevention Partnership on Controlled Substances (SPPCS). The SPPCS is a coalition of local authorities and first responders, medical and mental health professionals, educators, stakeholders, survivors and other service providers who joined forces to combat the opioid epidemic and its impacts locally. The group has directly contributed to increased education, training, programming, and life-saving efforts in Chatham County.

Anyone who suspects criminal activity in their area, including drug-related activity, should call 911 to speak with a deputy as soon as possible. Chatham County residents may also call 919-542-2911 for non-emergencies or to report tips.