On April 19, 2019, 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. 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 in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-5b and Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10a(1).
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. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged awaiting a detention hearing. “The presence of fentanyl in opioid related deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate.
Members of the public and the media are reminded that defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.