Leader of a Drug Trafficking Network

Mercer County NJ Drug Trafficking Network Lawyers

The simple fact that the potential penalties for being the leader of a drug trafficking network are equivalent to a homicide charge should indicate how serious this offense really is. The penalties for distributing drugs are severe but they pale in comparison to the potential penalties that follow a conviction for being the leader of a drug trafficking network. Unlike almost all other drug offenses in New Jersey, the type drug in question and the quantity seized at the time of the arrest are irrelevant. With that being said, as you will see below, this felony criminal charge can prove to be very problematic for the prosecution.

If you have been charged with the distribution of drugs in a school zone, the distribution of drugs in a park zone, possession of heroin, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose or being the leader of a drug trafficking network, the Mercer County attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys are ready and willing to fight to protect your rights. We will aggressively challenge the State’s case and contest the evidence which may be presented against you. If you would like to come into our office and discuss the specific facts of your case with one of our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys, then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. Our initial consultations are always free of costs, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to call. Here is some information on being the leader of a drug trafficking network charges in New Jersey.

Leader of a Drug Trafficking Network Charges in NJ

This offense was created so that prosecutor’s can get to the top of the “food chain” when it comes to drug dealers. Often times, the higher up drug dealers will insulate themselves so that they can not be successfully prosecuted. They will formulate a “team” of individuals that they can then dictate to and have run their business, without every having to expose themselves. So, in order to combat that, the leader of a drug trafficking network charge was created. The governing statute in New Jersey for this offense is NJSA 2C:35-3, it states in pertinent part that:

  • A person is a leader of a narcotics trafficking network if he conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager, to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, bring into, or transport in this State … any controlled dangerous substance…

Can I be Convicted of Being the Leader of a Drug Trafficking Network?

So in layman’s terms, in order for a Defendant to be convicted of this offense, the State must prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant conspired with two or more persons;
  • That the conspiracy included a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, bring into, or transport in this State a controlled dangerous substance;
  • That the Defendant was an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager of the conspiracy;
  • That the Defendant was at a high ranking level of said conspiracy; &
  • That Defendant’s underlying purpose for the conspiracy was to turn a profit.

When it comes to defending these types of charges, it is crucial to understand what will qualify as an “organizer”, “supervisor”, “financier” and “manager”. Being able to challenge the State’s proofs with regards to this element can cause a lot of problems for the prosecution. The courts have defined an organizer as anyone who arranges, devises, or orchestrates the drug trafficking scheme. A supervisor as anyone who oversees the drug trafficking operation. A financier as anyone who is bankrolling the drug trafficking operation. Lastly, the manager as anyone who directs the operations of the drug trafficking network.

What is important to note here is that the courts have concluded that more than one person inside the same operation could be considered an “organizer”, “supervisor”, “financier” and “manager”. In addition, in order to prove that the Defendant possessed a high ranking position, the state must prove that the Defendant had superior authority or control over other persons in a scheme. Now that does not mean that the Defendant was the highest ranking person. For more information on this charge and possible defenses, please contact our office and speak to one of our New Jersey drug distribution defense attorneys.

How Serious is Being the Leader of a Drug Trafficking Charge in NJ?

As stated earlier, this offense carries with it some of the harshest penalties in the entire New Jersey criminal code. Anyone convicted of this offense is facing a mandatory life sentence, where the Defendant must serve at least twenty-five years of that sentence before they could become eligible for parole. In addition, a fine up to $750,000 shall be imposed.

Drug Kingpin Charges in Trenton NJ

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense like possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, distribution of marijuana, eluding, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual assault, cocaine possession or distribution of CDS in a park zone, in Mercer County, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our Mercer County drug distribution defense attorneys serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, Lawrence, Ewing, Princeton, Hopewell, Robbinsville, Hightstown and Trenton. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys today then please contact us at (609)-789-0779.