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New Jersey man accused of crack cocaine deal near school

Sale or possession of drugs in a school zone can carry a much heftier penalty than the same activities in other areas. A 55-year-old Newark, New Jersey, man found that out after he was arraigned on drug charges in connection with possession of crack cocaine; additional charges have been added to his case because he was allegedly caught with the drug near a school.

The New Jersey man had reportedly been under surveillance by the Essex County Bureau of Narcotics. Authorities allege that the man was caught with 164 grams of crack cocaine. He is facing charges of drug possession and possession with intent to distribute, according to investigators.

Detectives followed the man from his residence to a local intersection, where they believe he orchestrated a drug deal. Officers report that the amount of crack cocaine in his possession would fetch about $8,000 on the street.

In this case, authorities appear to have been amassing a significant body of evidence against the suspect. The man's attorneys must determine whether the man should consider pleading guilty. They will weigh the amount and accuracy of evidence obtained by the prosecution against their ability to create reasonable doubt in the case.

Sometimes a plea deal is beneficial in a situation like this because they allow for sentence reduction. This man could potentially serve only a very short time in jail, especially if this is his first offense. The man's cooperation in the investigation could give him even more credibility, which could significantly reduce his sentence. Being convicted on crack cocaine charges can still mean a harsher sentence than if he just had regular cocaine, and the proximity to a school means the potential sentence could be even longer.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Newark man arraigned on crack cocaine charges," Feb. 6, 2013

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