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Point Pleasant Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty in Death of Brick Man

Brick man died in December of drug overdose, authorities said

Nicholas Ippolito (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Nicholas Ippolito (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
A 22-year-old Point Pleasant Borough man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and drug distribution charges stemming from an investigation into the overdose death of a Brick man, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced Friday.

Nicholas Ippolito admitted his role in the death of Joseph Piezzo, 35, who died in his home in Brick on Dec. 13, 2013.

Piezzo died after being rushed to Ocean Medical Center, prompting an investigation by the Brick Township Police Department and the prosecutor's office. On Dec. 20, the county medical examiner found the cause of death was a negative reaction to prescription and street drugs, according to Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

On Jan. 24, Della Fave said, investigators found a "critical piece" of evidence in the case, linking Piezzo's death to Ippolito.

Della Fave said prosecutors will seek concurrent three-year sentences on the manslaughter and drug distribution charges, subject to the state's No Early Release Act, under which Ippolito would not be eligible for parole until he served 85 percent of the three year sentence.

Ippolito has been incarcerated in the Ocean County Jail since Feb. 9, 2014 on a parole violation. His bail was set at $200,000 cash at the time of his arrest on March 7, 2014, Della Fave said.

Coronato's office credited the Major Crimes Unit and High Tech Crime Unit of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the Brick Township Police Department and the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department, all of which participated in the investigation.

Ippolito is one of seven suspected drug dealers to have been charged by Coronato under the state's Strict Liability statute in the deaths of their customers. The statute was rarely enforced in the state until Coronato began charging dealers in Ocean County last year. So far, three of the seven facing charges have pleaded guilty.

“The Strict Liability Statute, as a tool to hold dealers accountable and to fight back against our county’s heroin epidemic, has proven tremendously successful,” Coronato said in a statement on Friday's guilty plea.
Melinda Murray July 01, 2014 at 08:42 PM
I would like a few million dollars. Does that give me the right to rob a bank? I will only use my finger in my pocket to look like a gun. This guy sold dope and it Killed someone. Why ..so he could get high. That's murder. I'm older I wish that I had more children. That doesn't give me the right to take someone else's kid? And all the talk about treatment, none of it works. If it did we wouldn't be in this mess.
Jeff July 03, 2014 at 12:42 AM
I disagree with you I don't think it's murder the person knowingly bought heroin he knew the risks.And yes rehab does work what doesn't work is sending addicts to jail.Long term inpatient programs have been proven successful.
Melinda Murray July 03, 2014 at 08:31 PM
No Jeff they are not successful. Its like drug court the success rate there is sad as well. They will tell you it works because they are getting funding for these programs. As soon as someone comes off drug court they are out getting high again. Only now no ones keeping track anymore so the programs a hit. More like a smack in tax payer faces.You know what the long term success rate is.
Jeff July 06, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Well Melinda I will share my story with you I was a heroin addict for ten years in and out of jail.i finally got clean and stayed that way after a long term inpatient by long term18 to 24 months then to sober living. I have seen more then a few stay clean and still are to this day people I knew from my days.Now they have families and make good livings ,but you right let's just kill them all they don't deserve a life.You will never convince me of this just has I won't convince you.But I do appreciate your opinions.
Jeff July 06, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Oh and I've been clean almost 15 yrs now.

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