Three Charged in Drug-Induced Death

By Eric Englund | Jul 31, 2019

Barnegat — A Barnegat Township man is one of several individuals indicted in connection with a Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death that occurred on Jan. 12.  On July 23, a grand jury sitting in Ocean County indicted Curtis M. Geathers, Michael M. Tiedemann and Tiffany R. Coger on distributing a combination drug packaged in wax folds containing heroin and fentanyl to an individual between Jan. 9 and 10, the ingestion of which resulted in that person’s death.

Ocean County Proecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said the indictment is the result of a collaborative investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies in Ocean County, including the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Point Pleasant Borough Police Department, Seaside Heights Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit.

He said the investigation revealed that Geathers, 33, of Barnegat Township, distributed a quantity of wax folds containing a combination of heroin and fentanyl to Coger and Tiedemann between the dates of Jan. 5 and Jan. 9. Billhimer said that on that date, Tiedemann distributed a quantity of the wax folds that he had bought from Geathers to the victim. The next morning, the victim’s family discovered the victim unresponsive inside the home and contacted the police. The victim died on Jan. 12, and it was determined that the person died as a result of ingesting heroin and fentanyl.

In addition to the strict liability drug-induced death complaint, the three were also charged with distribution of heroin in an amount less than one-half ounce; possession with intent to distribute heroin in an amount less than one-half ounce; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in an amount less than one ounce; and possession of methamphetamine.

Geathers is lodged in the Ocean County Jail awaiting a hearing. Tiedemann and Coger were issued arrest warrants.

“This was a collaborative effort on the part of my office and many of our local police departments,” said Billhimer. “We are all committed to sharing our intelligence to make sure we put these drug dealers on notice; Ocean County is not the place to peddle your illegal and dangerous narcotics.” —E.E.




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