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Suspected Seaside Heights Heroin Dealer Charged in Overdose Death

Local man died of a heroin overdose in February, authorities say

Cornell Hills (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Cornell Hills (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
A suspected Seaside Heights heroin dealer has been charged with manslaughter in the overdose death of a man who died in February.

Cornell Hills, 38, has been charged in connection with the death of Thomas Basile, 54, another Seaside Heights resident. Hills, in addition to a first degree drug-induced death charge and second degree manslaughter charge, faces several counts of heroin distribution.

Hills was arrested April 4.

According to a joint statement from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd, Seaside Heights officers found Basile unresponsive after they were called to his Franklin Avenue home Feb. 28. The officers on scene, observing signs of a drug overdose, immediately, according to 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 Hills and link him to Basile’s overdose death, the statement said.

"The 112 drug overdose deaths in Ocean County last year have strengthened my resolve to hold the responsible drug dealers accountable for each tragic death,” said Coronato, in the statement. "Instituting the practice of having trained Homicide Detectives respond to all drug overdose deaths is proving to be tremendously effective in identifying those responsible."

Coronato praised county and local detectives for their work in the case.

Hills was arrested after police executed a search warrant at his home at 117 Sumner Avenue. There, according to the statement, they located assorted drug paraphernalia associated with the distribution of drugs.

Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson Jr. set bail for Mr. Hill’s at $200,000 cash. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail.
F-TR April 08, 2014 at 10:42 AM
This must be part of the new "family friendly" Seaside.
suz April 08, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Recently, yep...has been part of the family friendly SSH. What a shame.
Paint April 08, 2014 at 02:00 PM
Good work now toss they key on this guy off casino pier
Acsdms April 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM
What ever happened to the kids from Clark New Jersey from last summer. They were dealing in sea side. Did this go away because one of the kids father is a cop?
Amy Cavanaugh May 01, 2014 at 02:51 AM
I never heard anything about that. I live in SSH, the drug problem is completely out of control. The police are doing their best though to curtail this type of activity

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