A New Jersey man was recently arrested at home on an open warrant. When the police arrived, they found a cocaine and heroin manufacturing operation.
Local and state police found heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs, marijuana, and assorted drug manufacturing paraphernalia in his home. They also found a loaded gun, fake documents—including a birth certificate, Social Security card, and driver’s license—and more than $2,600 in cash.
The man used a variety of aliases and falsified identification documents to avoid arrest in Union County. He was wanted on another drug charge.
The man was charged with drug possession charges, weapons charges, distributing drugs, and maintaining a drug manufacturing facility. He was immediately taken into custody in Union County for the prior drug-related charge.
Charges that involve the distribution or sales of drugs escalate to a first-degree crime when the offender maintains a controlled drug substances (CDS) facility. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4, an individual who “knowingly” operates or maintains a residence or other manufacturing facility for the purpose of making CDS, or participates, finances, or promotes the operation or maintenance of a facility that makes these substances faces enhanced penalties if convicted:
- Drugs covered: Methamphetamine, marijuana, Schedule I/II narcotic drugs, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), flunitrazepam, phencyclidine, or analogs of these materials are covered in the law.
- Maintains/operates: The law targets individuals involved in maintaining or operating a place where illegal CDS are manufactured. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4 describes financiers/promoters of such facilities.
- Distribution: Under 2C:35-4, an individual charged with the distribution of drugs/CDS isn’t considered a lesser included offense.
- Punishments: Violating this law is a first-degree criminal offense. The convicted offender faces 10-20 years in prison. The convict must serve at least a third to one-half of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. The maximum fine is $750,000 (or five times’ the “street value” of the CDS at the time of arrest).
A drug production facility offense is an extremely serious charge in New Jersey. If you or a loved one is facing criminal drug charges, contact William J. Connelly, III, Esq., at Maldjian Law Group LLC for an initial case evaluation.