A Berkeley Township man has plead guilty to dealing heroin that killed two residents within hours of each other on February 24, 2018, announced Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

On Saturday, February 24, 2018, Berkeley Township Police were dispatched to Keith Tandberg’s residence after his roommate found him unresponsive.

He was pronounced dead at the residence.

Less than 24 hours later, Berkeley Township Police were dispatched to James Tice, Jr.’s residence after his father found him unresponsive.

Tice, Jr. was also pronounced dead at the residence.

Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Berkeley Township Police Department then worked together to conduct an investigation and concluded that Cody Lessing sold Heroin to both Tandberg and Tice, Jr., hours before each of their deaths.

Cody Lessing, 26, of Berkeley Township
Cody Lessing, 26, of Berkeley Township. (Ocean County Jail)

Subsequent toxicology reports revealed that both Tandberg and Tice, Jr. died as result of Monoacetylmorphine (Heroin) and Fentanyl ingestion.

Lessing, 26, pled guilty on Tuesday January 29, 2019 to two counts of 1st Degree Strict Liability Drug Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 35-9a, in the deaths of Tandberg, 45, and Tice, Jr., 29, both of Berkeley Township.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2019.

“As I have previously vowed, we are committed to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of all individuals selling illegal narcotics in Ocean County," Prosecutor Billhimer said  "The continuing presence of Fentanyl and the alarming rise in opioid related deaths require this approach.  We are satisfied that Lessing has been brought to justice. Our sympathy lies with two families dealing with the tragic loss of a family member.”

Lessing was prosecuted by Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Sheehan.

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