Two New Jersey men who were taken into police custody in mid-June after being accused of being co-conspirators in a heroin ring had their bail reduced by a judge on June 26. The bail reduction was permitted after the judge was persuaded that the Wildwood residents could lose their jobs and that the loss of income would not allow them to pay for their legal representation; she noted that the bail would also cause undue hardship for family of one of the accused.
The two men were taken into custody along with seven others after authorities recovered approximately $3.6 million in heroin, cash and a handgun from multiple vehicles, properties and residences. The brand of heroin that was recovered was reported to be laced with fentanyl, which is a pain reliever that is estimated to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. This brand, known as "White House," has been linked to 52 overdoses in Cape May County.
Attorneys for the two men argued that no drugs were found in either of the men's vehicles or residences. Additionally, both men were employed and had good reputations among their clients. The judge determined that the high bail would negatively impact their families, so she agreed to reduce one man's bail from $200,000 to $150,000 and the other's from $200,000 to $100,000. However, both men were not allowed to leave the state of New Jersey and were required to hand over their passports.
Those who are accused of being involved in drug crimes may face serious consequences. These consequences may include a jail sentence and hefty fines. However, an attorney may be able to provide evidence that their client was not involved in the alleged crime ring. If the prosecution has strong evidence that their clients were involved, however, the attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal that could potentially reduce the penalties.
Source: The Wildwood Leader, "Prosecutor links heroin ‘brand’ to overdoses", Christie Rotondo, June 26, 2014