According to a U.S. Attorney, more than a dozen people in New Jersey were taken into custody on Oct. 16 for their alleged involvement in distributing heroin throughout Middlesex, Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Local reports state that 22 people were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, and 14 have been taken into custody. Authorities claim that a 22-year-old lead conspirator was arrested that morning and that another lead conspirator, 42 years old, had already been detained.
Seven of the 22 charged were at large as of Oct. 16. During the press conference, the U.S. Attorney noted that federal law enforcement collaborated with county officials to conduct an ongoing investigation for more than a year, which included participation in undercover drug buys, surveillance operations and wiretaps.
The U.S Attorney stated that the wiretaps recorded the accused discussing branding, consumer satisfaction and quality control of the crack cocaine and heroin. It was also alleged that the individuals were using various code words and branding the heroin with different stamps. Federal, state and local law enforcement agents met in Asbury Par every six weeks to discuss any progress in the investigation. A DEA special agent stated that the image of the typical heroin user had evolved from someone shooting up in an alley to the neighbor who enjoys snorting at home.
People who are accused of committing a serious drug crime may benefit from contacting a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer may be able to assist defendants by challenging different components of the prosecution's case. Lawyers may focus on attaching the possibility of reasonable doubt to the prosecution's assertions. Defense counsel may also focus on identifying any breach in protocol that could warrant dismissal of the case or a reduction of the charges.
Source: NJ.com, "14 arrested, 7 at large in heroin trafficking takedown feds say", Ashley Peskoe, October 16, 2014