Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 16, Mr. Charles Rice, 58, of Lacey Township was arrested and charged with Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death.
On April 19, police officers of the Berkeley Township Police Department were dispatched to a residence in Berkeley Township for a report of an unresponsive 25-year-old male, according to reports.
Officials said that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A subsequent investigation revealed that Rice had sold the decedent a Heroin/Fentanyl mixture. Rice was charged with Distribution of Heroin, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin and Possession of Heroin.
Reports said that toxicology results received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office this week confirmed that the Fentanyl found in the decedent’s system was the cause of his death.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Berkeley Township Police Department arrested Rice at a residence in Lacey Township. Police transported him to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged awaiting a detention hearing.
Officials say that the presence of fentanyl in opioid-related deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate.