Point Pleasant Man Pleads Guilty in Brick Township Overdose Death
A Point Pleasant man might wind up behind bars for three years for supplying the heroin that killed a victim in Brick Township last December.
Nicholas Ippolito, 22, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and distribution of heroin in connection with the death of Joseph Piezzo, 25, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Prosecutors plan to ask for three-year sentences on each count, running concurrently. Ippolito has been in the Ocean County Jail since February 9 for a parole violation charge. He was arrested in the Piezzo case on March 7, with bail set at $200,000.
Piezza was pronounced dead at Brick Hospital on the night of December 18, about 45 minutes after police were called to his house.
A post-mortem review by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on December 20 was enhanced by a critical piece of evidence obtained by investigators on January 24, 2014 that tied Ippolito to the incident, authorities said. Piezzo's death was attributed to a negative reaction to prescription and street drugs.
Coronato says that the Strict Liability Statute, holding dealers accountable, is giving law enforcement a valuable weapon in the battle against heroin abuse. "Seven have been charged and three have chosen to plead guilty to date in just over a year," Coronato said in a prepared release. "This is directly attributed to the effectiveness of my prosecutorial and investigative staff, along with the support of the many county municipal police departments."