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WILDWOOD - At around 12:15 p.m. Jan. 9, the Wildwood Police Department received 911 calls, reporting a subject not breathing inside a residence in the 200 block of East Garfield Avenue, in Wildwood. 

According to a release, upon arrival, police and fire personnel located the victim, a 49-year-old man, unconscious and unresponsive. Life-saving measures were initiated; however, the victim was ultimately determined dead. 

During the ensuing investigation conducted by the Wildwood Police Department Detective Division and Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, it was learned that prior to collapsing, the victim was engaged in a physical altercation with a subject, identified as Jason Popplewell, 35, of Wildwood, who remained on scene. Popplewell was detained, as a part of the investigation and transported to Wildwood Police Department Headquarters. 

While in custody, Popplewell was found to possess a spring-loaded folding knife, as well as distribution quantities of suspected heroin, which he attempted to discard while at police headquarters.

Popplewell was charged with possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose (third degree), certain person not to possess a weapon (fourth degree), obstruction (fourth degree), possession of controlled dangerous substance (heroin) (third degree), possession of controlled dangerous substance (heroin) with the intent to distribute (third degree) and possession of controlled dangerous substance (heroin), with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a certain public place (second degree). 

He was lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Center, in accordance with New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform guidelines. While the death investigation is ongoing, there is no current threat to public safety, as of Jan. 12.

The above was received from a law enforcement agency. The person named is innocent unless proven otherwise.

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