A man has been convicted of multiple charges stemming from his involvement in a narcotics network that spanned the nation from coast to coast. That network was shut down in 2012 when New Jersey State Police seized more than $1 million in cash and 40 kilos of cocaine with a street value of at least $1.4 million.
The money and drugs were found in a Metuchen warehouse authorities say the network was using. Most of the contraband seized in the 2012 raid came from trucks at the Metuchen warehouse. Another $31,400 in cash was seized from an apartment in Hackensack.
The 52-year-old defendant, who is from Los Angeles, was convicted in Bergen County of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, conspiracy and money laundering. He could face 10 to 20 years behind bars and have to pay a fine of $500,000. His sentencing is scheduled for late August. New Jersey's acting attorney general talked about the message the verdict sends. "Interstate drug traffickers who think New Jersey is a good place to distribute their wares had better think about the lengthy prison sentence that comes with this verdict," he said.
Three other men pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. One of the men is from Metuchen, New Jersey. He is the one police say was renting the Hackensack apartment. The others are from New York City and Los Angeles. The three men who pleaded guilty have not yet been sentenced but could each face 10 years in prison.
Drug crimes are often vigorously prosecuted, and the penalties can be very stiff. Prosecutors often want to send a message to those who distribute illegal drugs to stay out of their area. However, not everyone involved with a group of people that sells drugs necessarily has the same level of culpability. Often it is best for each defendant to seek his or her own legal representative so that attorney can focus on working to achieve the best possible outcome for that defendant.
Source: Source: NorthJersey.com, "Bergen County jury convicts Los Angeles man in major narcotics case," Jim Norman, July 9, 2014