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Drug culture rises in New Jersey suburbia

Picket fences, minivans, swing sets, and police in bulletproof vests. Which doesn't fit? Unfortunately, now they all are evident in one New Jersey town which started as an example of the American Dream in suburbia about 35 years ago. Then a development boom came, with the population doubling over two decades from 1990 to 2009. The growth was followed by an increase in the instance of drug crimes.

Now the residents of Stafford Township, New Jersey, some of whom moved from metropolitan areas to find a quieter, safer life in the suburbs, face the culture that goes with heroin dealers, illegal distribution of prescription drugs by doctors in the area and drug arrests on the streets where homeowners walk their dogs.

Law enforcement officials say that the increase in crime shouldn’t be a surprise. With an increase in the volume of people, the amount of crime usually rises. Drugs are a problem across Ocean County, including heroin use. Drug overdoses more than doubled in 2013 with 112 deaths, compared to only 53 in 2012. And even without illegal drugs like heroin, abuse of prescription drugs is becoming more prevalent in all types of neighborhoods.

Of course, not everyone who is accused of such crimes is guilty. As police get more serious about targeting drug crime in an area, however, mistakes are likely to be made. Whenever a New Jersey resident finds him- or herself facing drug charges, it is very important to seek criminal defense counsel. Drug charges result in very serious short- and long-term consequences even if an individual is never convicted. In order to handle your case in the least damaging way possible, it is helpful to have an experienced attorney by your side.

Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Stafford's Ocean Acres, once a boom town, sees uptick in drug-related crime,” Donna Weaver, April 15, 2014

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