Category: Lacey

Lacey Twp. Man Charged With Strict Liability Death After Selling Victim Heroin And Cocaine

April 30, 2021

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Police Chief Mitchell Little announced that on April 29, 2021, Jehmar Barrett, 34, of Lacey Township, was charged with Strict Liability Drug Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9a, relative to the death of a 35-year-old female in Toms River on November 24, 2020.

On November 24, 2020, Toms River Police Officers responded to a residence on Alabama Avenue for a report of an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, Officers discovered the body of the victim, who was already deceased from an apparent drug overdose.

A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Toms River Police Department Detective Bureau determined that Barrett allegedly sold the victim Heroin and Cocaine on November 23, 2020. Barrett was initially charged on November 24, 2020 with Distribution of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Distribution of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Eluding in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b.

Further investigation and toxicology analysis recently received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the presence of Fentanyl in the victim’s system. It was determined through laboratory analysis that the controlled dangerous substance allegedly sold to the victim by Barrett – initially believed to be Heroin – was, in fact, Fentanyl, matching the Fentanyl found in the victim’s system. Based upon the toxicology analysis, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office opined that the Fentanyl found in the victim’s system was the cause of her death. As a consequence, Barrett was charged with Strict Liability Induced Death on April 29, 2021. This morning, Barrett surrendered himself to the Toms River Police Department. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Little commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department Patrol Division, Berkeley Township Police Department, Lacey Township Police Department, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Manalapan Man Charged With Aggravated Assault In Lakeside Diner Incident

October 1, 2020

See a related NJ 101.5 news story on the incident here: Kockout punch kills man, 78, after Lacy biker brawl, owner says

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Edward Chandler, 54, of Manalapan, was charged with Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1) relative to an incident which occurred outside the Lakeside Diner in Lacey Township during the evening hours of September 30, 2020.

On September 30, 2020, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Lacey Township Police received a 911 call in reference to a male who was reported to be unresponsive at the Lakeside Diner on Lacey Road. Responding Officers found Robert Clarke, 78, of Whiting, unconscious and bleeding from an apparent head wound. Clarke was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center. Clarke succumbed at approximately 1:30 a.m. and was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lacey Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that an argument had taken place inside the diner between members of a motorcycle club. The owner of the diner asked everyone involved in the altercation to leave the premises. A second argument involving the same parties arose in the parking lot of the diner. During this argument, Chandler struck Mr. Clarke with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground resulting in severe head trauma. Chandler was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation. We are continuing to interview potential witnesses, and are awaiting the results of Mr. Clarke’s post-mortem examination by the Ocean County Medical Examiner. I fully expect that additional charges will be forthcoming,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lacey Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Fatal Accident On Route 539 In Lacy Township

September 18, 2020 Updated at 5:15 with full press release, see below original story for complete information.

7:00 pm update a source traveling though the area says the roadway has been reopened.

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 6:00 am this morning sources say that a dump truck and a car collided with entrapment around mile marker 19. Sources also say there was a fatality at the scene and a fuel spill. The roadway has remained closed though late afternoon for accident investigation and clean up.

Route 539 is still closed as of 4:30 pm between Route 72 and Harry Wright Blvd. in Manchester Township. Seek alternate routes if you need to travel in that area.


Full press release below:

Michael C. DiBella Chief of Police

Lacey Township Police Department PRESS RELEASE:

On Friday, September 18, 2020, at approximately 0600 hours, the Lacey Township Police Department responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash on County Route 539 in the vicinity of mile marker 19.5. Initial reports indicated entrapment of an occupant of one vehicle that was fully engulfed in flames. Investigation at the scene revealed that a 2000 Lexus operated by a 37-year-old female from Staten Island, NY, was traveling north in the southbound lane on County Road 539 approaching mile marker 19.5.

A 2006 Kenworth tri-axle dump truck was traveling south at the same time and the Lexus struck the front of the dump truck at a high rate of speed.

Witnesses reported that the operator of the Lexus had passed multiple vehicles well in excess of the posted 55 MPH speed limit while traveling north just prior to the crash. Witnesses further reported that after passing another vehicle the operator of the Lexus failed to return to the northbound lane, and continued traveling north in the southbound lane, right into the path of the dump truck.

The impact caused the Lexus to burst into flames upon colliding with the truck, with the occupant still inside the vehicle. By all accounts it does not appear the initial impact was survivable. The operator of the dump truck, Sergio Pernilla, 37, of Hamilton, New Jersey suffered minor injury.

The identity of the driver of the Lexus is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The crash resulted in significant damage to the vehicles involved and caused the roadway to be shut down for an extended period of time. The crash also caused the diesel fuel tank of the dump truck to become compromised, resulting in the spill of a significant amount of diesel fuel onto the roadway.

As of 1500 hours on today’s date, clean-up efforts are still underway and the road remains closed. It is estimated that the roadway should be reopened by late evening.

The Forked River and Bamber Lakes Fire Department, Berkeley HAZMAT Team, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Stafford Township Police Department, Barnegat Police Department, Ocean County Road Department, NJ State DOT, and Accurate Towing all assisted with the investigation and/or clean-up efforts. Sergeant Robert Flynn, Lacey Township Police Department, is investigating the crash.