By: Richard L. Smith
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer reported developments in a drug-induced death case from September 2023.
According to the OCPO, three individuals – Mr. Michael Wormann, Mr. Ryan Thompson, and Ms. Tina Martinez – have been charged with Strict Liability-induced Induced Death following the demise of a 55-year-old male in Berkeley Township.
The case unfolded on September 29 when Berkeley Township Police responded to a call at a residence on Torrey Pines Drive. They found an unresponsive male who was declared deceased due to an apparent drug overdose.
An intensive investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit, Narcotics Strike Force, and Berkeley Township Police revealed Wormann, Thompson, and Martinez's involvement in distributing Fentanyl to the victim on September 28, 2023.
Wormann faced initial charges related to Fentanyl distribution on September 30, 2023, and was released pending a court appearance.
Martinez was charged with conspiracy to distribute Fentanyl on October 17 and released on a summons. Thompson was similarly charged on October 20 but was detained pending a hearing.
Following further investigation and toxicology reports confirming Fentanyl in the victim's system, Wormann, Thompson, and Martinez faced additional charges on November 14, 2023, for Strict Liability Induced Death.
Thompson received this charge while already detained at Ocean County Jail.
Wormann surrendered to these new charges on November 15 and was released due to New Jersey Bail Reform.
Martinez was apprehended on November 30 at her Trenton residence and is currently lodged at Ocean County Jail, awaiting a detention hearing.
The case highlights the severe consequences of fentanyl distribution and its lethal impact, underscoring enforcement's ongoing battle against the opioid crisis.