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DEALER ARREST – OCPO CONTINUES TO LEAD IN STRICT LIABILITY PROSECUTIONS

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Brick Police Chief James Riccio today announced the arrest of Timothy Baker, 26, of Jackson, NJ in connection with the drug induced death of Thomas Palazzolo, 26, of Brick.

            “Prosecutor Coronato stated, “OCPO will continue to lead the way in developing Strict Liability/Drug Induced Death cases.  It’s critical during this opiate crisis we take strong punitive measures against dealers bringing death to those fighting addiction”.

Today (4/6), Det. Brian Farnkopf of Brick Police Department and OCPO Major Crimes Unit Det. John Carroll signed criminal complaints against Timothy Baker for Strict Liability Drug Induced Death, Possession of Heroin, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin and Distribution of Heroin.  Baker is currently incarcerated since January 31, 2017 at Ocean County Correction Facility on prior narcotic drug charges related to this case.

Timothy Baker’s arrest stems from the death investigation of Thomas Palazzolo, begun on January 27, 2017.  On that date at approximately 9:47 am, the Brick Township Police Department received a 911 call stating Thomas was unresponsive on his bedroom floor.  Brick Police immediately upon arrival attempted life saving measures with negative results.  Thomas was pronounced deceased at 10:07 am.

Officers on scene, observing signs of a drug overdose, immediately, per the Prosecutor’s directive, contacted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit to respond.  The ensuing intensive investigation would ultimately lead back to Baker and link him to Thomas Palazzolo’s overdose death.  An autopsy by the Ocean County Medical Examiner would confirm that Palazzolo’s death was drug induced.

The investigation was conducted by the Brick Police Department, Ocean County Special Operation Group and the Ocean County Major Crime Unit, with assistance from Ocean County Sherriff’s Department CSI.  Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Mara Brater is the case prosecutor.

The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

TIMOTHY BAKER

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