A Bayville man is accused of dealing the heroin and fentanyl that killed two men in Berkeley Township within hours on February 25, 2018.

Cody Lessing, 25, is charged with two counts of Strict Liability Drug Induced Death, two counts of Manslaughter, two counts of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl, two counts of Possession of Heroin and Fentanyl and two counts of Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl for dealing lethal doses of heroin combined with the fentanyl that killed James Tice Jr. and Keith Tandberg who overdosed.

Lessing has been sitting in the Ocean County Correction Facility since February 25 on prior narcotic drug charges pertaining to same incident.

On that date (2/25), the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to two separate 911 calls within seven hours of each other for unresponsive males within their jurisdiction.  Tandberg, 45, of Berkeley was found unresponsive and pronounced deceased just after midnight and Tice, 28, also of Berkeley was later found unresponsive and pronounced deceased in the early morning hours of the same day.

Berkeley Township Police officers observed the signs of a drug overdose and immediately, per the Prosecutor’s directive, contacted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit to respond.

The investigation lead to Lessing and police linked him to both deaths.

An autopsy by the Ocean County Medical Examiner would confirm Tandberg and Tice died from a drug induced overdose due to lethal doses of heroin combined with fentanyl.

“OCPO will continue to lead the way in developing Strict Liability/Drug Induced Death cases," Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato said. "It’s critical during this opiate crisis we take strong punitive measures against dealers bringing death to those fighting addiction."

Members of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office Major Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit conducted this investigation.

Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Patrick J. Sheehan is the case prosecutor.

 The public is reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

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