On May 8, New Jersey authorities announced that they took 18 individuals into custody after they were accused of being involved in an open-air drug market at a Hoboken strip mall. According to the authorities, the individuals were selling a number of different drugs, including heroin, crack and marijuana near the West Side Plaza.
Authorities reportedly investigated the area for two months after complaints were made regarding potential drug deals that were allegedly being made outside of businesses in the strip mall. A first person, who was identified as a 23-year-old man, was initially taken into custody following the investigation on May 6. He allegedly had a large amount of drugs in his possession and approximately $30,000 in cash. The remaining individuals were all taken into custody on May 8. Authorities reported that at least one individual had been taken into custody earlier in the year after he was accused of assaulting business owners.
The accused individuals range in age from 20 to 44. All were charges with drug distribution. Authorities stated that it appeared that there was no leader of the activities and that those involved did not appear to be competing with each other.
Being accused of selling illegal drugs can result in serious consequences that could include incarceration, fines and other penalties. A criminal defense attorney may potentially be able to have the charges dropped if the evidence was tampered with or if it can be shown that the client was not involved in any drug sales. In other cases, an attorney may choose to enter into an arrangement with the prosecutor that would involve a plea of guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the withdrawal of the more serious ones.
Source: NJ.com, "18 arrested in takedown of 'drug market' outside strip mall, Hoboken police say", Kathryn Brenzel, May 8, 2015