Facing charges for drug possession with intent to distribute is serious enough. In recent years, prosecutors have gone after drug dealers who sell illicit narcotics that cause the deaths of the users who bought from them. The sentencing guidelines are usually harsher for those convictions, and the sentences are typically added to the sentences imposed for lesser violations. This appears to be exactly what happened for one woman in New Jersey.
Detail regarding incident and arrest
In Feb. 2021, the Lumberton Police Department and EMT services responded to a call involving a man who was found unconscious in his bedroom. The man was 29 years old and had reportedly died from a drug overdose. The drug concoction he purportedly took contained fentanyl, a very powerful and dangerous narcotic.
Authorities learned that the man had bought the drugs from a Mount Holly woman. The suspect, 54, was arrested in Feb. 2021 for possessing and planning to sell illegal drugs. During their investigation, authorities say they found the woman to have been in possession of several grams of fentanyl along with almost $1,400 in cash. Toxicology reports on the victim showed he has the same types of drugs in his system as the woman was in possession of. The suspect eventually pleaded guilty to charges that include strict liability for drug-induced death and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Seeking legal counsel for drug-related charges
As the evidence against the woman was apparently strong, her guilty plea may have been the best course of action – possibly the result of a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors. However, everyone is presumed innocent in the eyes of the law, which is why it is sometimes more advisable to proceed to trial instead of pleading guilty to the charges. Those accused of drug crimes in New Jersey will want to work closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney to gain a better undertraining of their rights and options and, hopefully, increase their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.