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8 detained for involvement in drug ring

On Dec. 11, New Jersey law enforcement officials took into custody eight individuals who allegedly participated in a national drug trafficking network. Authorities reported that another individual was detained in Pennsylvania for alleged involvement with the drug network. Furthermore, officials indicated that they are still searching for two additional suspects in California.

The drug sweep occurred in Atlantic City. Authorities reported that one of the accused individuals, a 39-year-old man, refused to leave a Blaine Avenue apartment for approximately four hours.

Six of the eight individuals detained in connection with the sweep face charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. A conspiracy charge conviction could result in a prison sentence exceeding 10 years and a seven-figure fine. One person was charged with money laundering only. The potential penalties accompanying a conviction on that offense include a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of up to $250,000. One person was charged with both conspiracy to distribute and money laundering. All eight individuals made their first appearance in court on Dec. 11.

People facing a severe drug charge run the risk of receiving a permanent criminal record, which could keep them from obtaining desired employment throughout their lives. However, there are a number of defenses that a criminal defense attorney could employ, appropriate to the particulars of a specific case, to keep the accused out of jail and unburdened by a record. For example, the attorney may challenge the integrity of the evidence linking an individual to a large criminal network as well as the credibility of the law enforcement officials who made the connection.

Source: NJ.com, "Atlantic City drug raids nab 8 on crack and heroin distribution charges", Lisa Rose, December 11, 2014

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