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Heroin bust leads to federal drug crime charges for 21 people


Just like in every other state, New Jersey law enforcement officials have contact day in and day out with people who have gotten themselves caught up in America's ongoing battle with illegal drugs. While many states are dealing with an exploding methamphetamine problem, some states are beginning to see a rising concern with a drug that has been around for a long time: heroin.

Some experts have postulated that the resurgence of the heroin problem in America is actually tied to another issue: prescription drug abuse. The theory goes that since many of the prescription drugs that people abuse are opiate-based - just like heroin - when someone reaches their limit of enjoyment by abusing prescription drugs, they need something stronger. And nothing is stronger than heroin.

New Jersey, it seems, will be confronting this issue now and into the future. In fact, according to a recent report, a large-scale federal investigation has led to 21 people being charged with federal drug crimes after authorities focused on a suspected drug trafficking operation that spanned Monmouth and Ocean counties. Several arrests took place over a two-week period, with three people yet to be apprehended.

All of the suspects are connected with one large conspiracy to coordinate a heroin drug distribution operation. While most drug crimes are state-level offenses, anything that involves a conspiracy of this size will usually bump the potential charges into federal-level offenses - along with the potential for increased penalties at that level. For the 21 suspects in this case, coordinating an effective criminal defense strategy will be cumbersome, but with the right approach there may be options for some of the defendants to either get the charges reduced or, perhaps, dismissed altogether.

Source: NJ.com, "21 arrested as feds bust heroin ring in Ocean and Monmouth counties," Seth Augenstein, March 27, 2014

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