A 31-year-old Lake Hopatcong man was allegedly the leader of the group. He is charged with being the leader of a narcotics trafficking network in the first degree, which carries the penalty of life in prison without parole for at least 25 years. Meanwhile, a Hamilton Township man, age 34, and two New York men, ages 45 and 46, are charged with conspiring to kill a former associate and his bodyguard over drug money and drug disputes. The men had reportedly planned the killings but had not yet followed through. Another four New Jersey men, ranging in age from 27 to 51, and an unidentified man face various drug charges. A New Jersey man, age 32, and a California tractor-trailer driver, age 28, are charged with money laundering. A Maryland man, age 30, is charged with second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Raids on several properties allegedly turned up cocaine, the designer drug ethylone, around $250,000 in cash, gold bars, diamond jewelry, ammunition, gun silencers and various items used to test, cut and package cocaine. According to authorities, other arrests are expected.
New Jersey residents charged with drug trafficking could face severe consequences in the event that they are convicted. However, defendants may help their situation by immediately contacting a criminal defense attorney to represent their interests in court. An attorney could work to ensure that a defendant's rights are protected as they are questioned by police. A defense attorney might also be able to carefully scrutinize the evidence for details that could be used in their client's favor.
Source: Princeton Patch, "Mercer County Man Indicted for Selling Cocaine, Conspiracy to Murder in Massive Drug Ring Crackdown: AG," Anthony Bellano, March 7, 2016