Man admits selling heroin and fentanyl that killed 2 people


A man charged with selling fatal drug doses to two people admitted to the crimes in court this week, authorities said.

Cody Lessing, 26, of Berkeley Township, pleaded guilty to two counts of strict liability for a drug-induced death on Tuesday, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced in a news release.

Lessing was charged in May last year with supplying doses of heroin and fentanyl to two men who overdosed within hours of each other in the township.

James Tice Jr., 28, and Keith Tandberg, 45 were found dead on Feb. 24 and 25, respectively. Tice was a carpenter who worked in the Ocean County area and loved to ride all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, his obituary said.

Tandberg was a Ridgewood native who worked as a computer technician, and at the Berkeley Island Marina in Bayville, his obituary said.

“We are committed to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of all individuals selling illegal narcotics in Ocean County,” Billhimer said in the statement. “The continuing presence of fentanyl and the alarming rise in opioid-related deaths require this approach. We are satisfied that Lessing has been brought to justice. Our sympathy lies with two families dealing with the tragic loss of a family member.”

Lessing is scheduled to be sentenced April 24 in Ocean County Superior Court. He is currently in the county jail.

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