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Toms River Man Arrested for Dealing Fatal Drugs to Man Who Died in Kmart Bathroom

Gregory Koc (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

Gregory Koc (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

A Toms River resident has been charged with dealing a deadly dose of heroin and fentanyl to a Bayville man, authorities announced Wednesday.

Gregory Koc, 34, of Pine Street in Toms River is facing charges of manslaughter, drug distribution and drug-induced death stemming from the sale of the illicit substances to Kenneth Cook, 28, of Bayville, who died, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Koc was taken into custody on Tuesday by detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Toms River Township Police Department, who charged him with strict liability for drug-induced death, manslaughter, distribution of fentanyl, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of fentanyl. Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill approved the charges. Koc is being held in the Ocean County Jail on $350,000 cash bail set by Superior Court Judge Wendel Daniels.

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Koc’s arrest stems from an investigation which began on Aug. 3, 2016 at 9:55 p.m., when the Toms River Police Department responded to the Kmart on Route 37 East to conduct a death investigation. Arriving officers and medical personal found Cook unresponsive in the Kmart restroom at the rear of the store. He was pronounced dead on scene at 10:04 p.m., said Della Fave.

Officers on scene, observing signs of a drug overdose, immediately, per the directive of Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, 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 Koc and link him to Kenneth Cook’s overdose death, said Della Fave.

“Dealers who are relentless in their efforts to profit from the misery and deaths of others have now resorted to dealing deadly doses laced with powerful synthetic opiates in order to combat our initiatives and to increase their addictive grip on users,” said Coronato, who spearheaded the manslaughter prosecution of drug dealers who provide fatal doses of illicit substances to their users.

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