Jersey Shore Man Arrested In Connection With Fatal Fentanyl Overdose

A 34-year-old man from Ocean County has been arrested in connection with a woman's fatal drug overdose last year, authorities said.

Jehmar Barrett
Jehmar Barrett Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

Jehmar Barrett of Lacey Township was charged on Thursday with strict liability drug induced death in connection with the fentanyl overdose of a 35-year-old woman in Toms River, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Police Chief Mitchell Little.

On Nov. 24, 2020, Toms River police responded to a residence on Alabama Avenue on a report of an unresponsive woman. Officers found the body of the victim, who was already dead from an apparent drug overdose, Billhimer and Little said. 

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 unidentified victim heroin and cocaine the day before her overdose death.

Barrett was initially charged with possession and distribution of heroin and of cocaine, eluding and other offenses, authorities said.

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 victim’s system, the prosecutor said.

The Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office said that the fentanyl found in the victim’s system was the cause of her death.

On Thursday, Barrett surrendered himself to the Toms River Police Department. He was taken to the Ocean County Jail, where he was awaiting a detention hearing.

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