Forty people were arrested in southern New Jersey in the bust of a drug trafficking ring that distributed heroin and crack cocaine throughout the state. The raids netted ringleaders, dealers, users, and a former police officer and her husband.
A months-long investigation led to the execution of five search warrants in several New Jersey locations. State, county and local law-enforcement officials were involved, as well as the DEA. Officials announced the seizure of three vehicles, 8,000 bags of heroin, 1,000 bags of crack cocaine, and ten pounds of marijuana, as well as cash and firearms. Though the network was based in Camden, New Jersey, the drugs sold by the ring are said to have reached buyers in Burlington, Gloucester and Ocean Counties.
Former Camden County Police Officer, Ashley Bailey, allegedly warned members of the ring when they were targets of law enforcement and shared confidential information from department briefings. She faces a sentence of as much as 30 years for official misconduct, weapons possession, conspiracy, and terroristic threats. Her husband, charged with conspiracy, was also involved in the drugs ring and is the brother of one of the ring’s leaders.
Three leaders of the organization could receive 20 years in prison. Charges against them include leading a narcotics trafficking network, conspiracy, possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), and possession with intent to distribute a CDS. One also faces a charge of attempted murder for a shooting in April. A fourth is still at large.
Nine others face lesser charges, including conspiracy, possession of a CDS, and possession with intent to distribute. Seventeen drug buyers were charged with possession or other offenses, while eight more were charged with attempted possession and other crimes.
Though the drugs seized are said to have a street value of approximately $85,000, investigators believe the ring took in as much as $1.2 million annually. One leader of the network is said to have sold about 5,000 bags of heroin or cocaine weekly.
The roundup is a reminder to everyone involved in illegal drugs, from kingpins to dealers to users, that an arrest is always a possibility. For some, the penalties may be ruinous. Whatever your role or level of participation, if you are swept up in a drugs bust, you need expert, effective criminal defense counsel on your side. The Burlington County, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Sitzler and Sitzler have extensive experience with drug arrests of all kinds and can help you make the best of a challenging situation. For a free consultation, call us immediately at (609) 267-1101.