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Drug ring bust nets 50 in heroin scheme

Accused drug criminals who work together sometimes face serious charges as a group, also. More than 50 people were apprehended for alleged drug crimes after officers in Monmouth County executed a search operation. That effort reportedly halted a drug distribution ring that was involved in the distribution of 10,000 bags of heroin each week, according to prosecutors.

Authorities report that many of the people involved in the distribution efforts were members of the Bloods gang. About 48 people were arrested on Dec. 17, with four warrants pending at that time.

The arrests netted individuals accused of both high- and low-level trafficking operations. At least three men have been charged with leading the drug distribution efforts, bringing in large quantities of heroin from Essex County. Authorities say the ring's clients include individuals from all levels of society. Most live in Monmouth and Ocean County, according to investigators, with addresses from Rumson, Red Bank, Neptune and Asbury Park included.

Authorities seized about 200,000 bags with an estimated street value of $2 million. A separate haul brought it several firearms used in the drug enterprise, along with 15,000 extra bags and nearly $20,000 in cash.

Officials say that an increased demand for pure heroin was the driving force behind the drug ring. Distributors in New Jersey are known for their high-quality product, which is more addictive and leaves a trail of substance abusers in its wake.

Group arrests provide key opportunities for negotiations with prosecutors. In this case, lower-tier distributors could plead guilty and provide additional information to state officials in order to receive reduced sentences. Considering the vast amount of evidence that was accumulated during the drug sweep, people in the accused group would be wise to think about pleading guilty. Suspects could potentially avoid jail time altogether if this was their first offense and they decided to plead guilty.

Source: NJ.com, "Gang-related heroin-trafficking ring disrupted in Monmouth County, prosecutor says," Ashley Peskoe, Dec. 17, 2012.

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