Heroin and Cocaine Ring Ended in Trenton and Ewing
Following a two-month investigation, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, that four people were arrested for operating a possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin distribution organization. All four suspects, Ryan Pullen, Jade Long, Reginald Jackson, and Anthony Hearns, were residents of Trenton.
The investigation, which began in December 2017, involved hours of surveillance in the area where the suspects operated, and many undercover purchases of cocaine. Investigators learned that an apartment in Trenton was being used as a “stash location” for the drug operation.
Once the police decided to raid and make arrests at the Trenton stash location, they found 10 grams of crack cocaine, 35 grams of powder cocaine, 30 bricks of heroin and $1,547 in cash. Overall, the police determined that the amount of drugs found at the location had a street value of approximately $12,000.
At the time of raid, the investigators observed Pullen break a window and throw a 9-millimeter handgun onto the apartment building roof. Two additional handguns were discovered in the stash location. Weapons are often present in the midst of a drug distribution operation. This case was no different.
The suspects were ultimately charged with second-degree drug offenses, and Pullen was additionally charged with weapons offenses.
Drug Distribution Offenses in Mercer County
There are actually several statutes that are typically used to charge drug distribution crimes. The choice of which charges to bring is based on the factual circumstances. The general statute used to prosecute drug distribution offenses can be found at New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. That statute makes it is illegal to purposefully “manufacture, distribute, or dispense” a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), or to “possess . . . with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense,” a CDS or counterfeit CDS.
In addition, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 makes it is illegal to distribute CDS within 1000 feet of school property or a school bus; and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 makes it is illegal to distribute CDS within 500 feet of a public housing facility, a public park, or a public building.
With regard to the penalties associated with drug distribution under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, the degree of offense depends on the amount and type of CDS in your case. To give a few examples:
- Distribution of 5 or more ounces of cocaine or heroin is a first-degree offense. The penalty could be 10 to 20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
- Distributing between ½ and 5 ounces of cocaine or heroin is a second-degree offense. The penalty could be 5 to 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
- Finally, distributing less than ½ ounce of cocaine or heroin is a third-degree offense. The penalty could be 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $75,000 in fines.
In the case of the Trenton/Ewing drug bust that happened this past week, the amount of drugs found at the stash location put them in the second-degree category.
In addition to the penalties above, the suspects in the Trenton/Ewing case may also face enhanced penalties if:
- They possessed a gun during the distribution offense.
- A death occurred as a result of a CDS that they distributed.
- They distributed a CDS to a pregnant woman or a person under 18 years old.
Pullen, the person who threw the handgun on to the apartment roof, will certainly need to deal with an enhanced sentence if convicted, given that he was in possession of a gun at the time the police apprehended him.
Mercer County Drug Attorneys That Can Help You Win Your Case
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall specialize in representing clients who are facing drug distribution charges. With over 100 years of collective experience under their belts, the attorneys at the Marshall Firm have the skill, knowledge, and passion to aggressively represent you in court. Having handled so many drug matters, the Marshall Firm attorneys are experts in assessing the facts of your case, providing legal options and a recommended strategy, fighting all charges based on possible constitutional grounds, and taking your case to trial if necessary. We offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 609-683-8102. Speak with one of our attorneys today, and get the legal help you need.
We serve clients throughout Mercer County, New Jersey — including Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Borough, West Windsor, East Windsor, Lawrence Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Princeton Township, Ewing and Hopewell — and surrounding areas, including Hunterdon County and Burlington County.