Alleged Local Heroin Dealer Charged in Berkeley Man’s Overdose Death

Jan 23, 2019

Manahawkin resident and Southern Regional High School graduate (’10) Jobe Bizzarro, 27, was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly providing heroin laced with fentanyl to Steven Large, 56, of Beachwood, who overdosed and died Dec. 5, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

An investigation by Berkeley Township police, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Major Crimes Unit traced the drugs to Bizzarro as the source and led to his arrest on Jan. 16. Authorities determined he sold the drugs to Large earlier in the evening of the overdose. Bizzarro was charged with Large’s strict liability drug-induced death, as well as manufacturing, distributing and dispensing heroin and fentanyl, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Strict liability is a first-degree offense that carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. It was created 30 years ago to combat the surge in crack cocaine use, but in light of the opioid crisis, the charge is increasingly used for heroin dealers, as reported last summer by NJ Advance Media. During former Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato’s time in office, from 2013 to 2018, 20 defendants in Ocean County were charged with strict liability for drug-induced deaths – more than any other county in the state.

Bizzarro is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing. He was previously arrested by Berkeley police in April 2017, when a motor vehicle stop revealed two NCIC warrants issued by Ocean County and Monmouth County superior courts. At that time he ended up in Ocean County Jail in default of bail.  —V.F.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.