Trio from Toms River and Trenton Face Charges in Drug-Related Death

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer made an announcement on November 14, 2023, regarding the charges filed against three individuals in connection with a drug-induced death in Berkeley Township on September 29, 2023. Michael Wormann, 38, from Toms River, Ryan Thompson, 35, from Trenton, and Tina Martinez, 61, also from Trenton, have been charged with Strict Liability Drug Induced Death.

The incident occurred when officers from the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to a residence on Torrey Pines Drive on September 29, 2023, following a report of an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, officers discovered the lifeless body of a 55-year-old male who had succumbed to a drug overdose.

An ongoing investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that Wormann, Thompson, and Martinez were involved in the distribution of Fentanyl to the victim on September 28, 2023.

Wormann was initially charged with Distribution of Fentanyl, Possession of Less than One-Half Ounce of Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute, and Possession of Fentanyl on September 30, 2023. He was apprehended without incident at his residence by Berkeley Township Police Officers and later released on a summons pending his appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

Martinez, on the other hand, was initially charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl on October 17, 2023. She was taken into custody without any issues at her residence in Trenton and transported to New Jersey State Police Headquarters in Trenton. Martinez was eventually released on a summons pending her future appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

Thompson faced the same charge of Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl on October 20, 2023. He was also taken into custody without any complications at his residence in Trenton and subsequently transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he remains detained pending a detention hearing.

Following further investigation and toxicology analysis conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, it was confirmed that the victim had fentanyl in his system. The Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the presence of fentanyl was the cause of death. Consequently, Wormann, Thompson, and Martinez were all charged with Strict Liability Induced Death on November 14, 2023.

Thompson was served with the additional charge while at the Ocean County Jail on November 14, 2023, and he remains detained pending trial. Wormann surrendered himself on the additional charge at Berkeley Township Police Headquarters on November 15, 2023. After being processed, he was transported to the Ocean County Jail and subsequently released due to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Lastly, on November 30, 2023, Martinez was taken into custody without any complications at her residence in Trenton by Detectives from the Berkeley Township Police Department and Trenton City Police Department. She was then transported to the Ocean County Jail, where she is currently held pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer expressed his commendation for the combined and collaborative efforts of various law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, including the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Berkeley Township Police Department, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Trenton City Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.

It is important to note that the charges mentioned above are merely accusations, and all defendants should be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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