An increase in shootings throughout multiple towns in New Jersey recently led to a large gang, heroin and cocaine bust. Authorities said the bust dismantled a criminal enterprise in the state. A total of 29 people have been taken into custody and will most likely need a strong criminal defense to fight their charges.
The arrests, which involved Bloods street gang members who are part of what is called the G-Shine set, occurred as part of a police operation known as Operation Lights Out. This probe was launched earlier in the year. However, three individuals are reportedly still at large.
The majority of the 29 individuals arrested currently face a number of criminal charges, including drug distribution and racketeering. Other charges include conspiring to possess and/or distribute narcotics, illegally transferring or selling firearms, and illegally possessing handguns. According to police, the criminal group distributed between 150 and 200 grams of crack and powder cocaine each week, with the street value being an estimated $225,000. In addition, the organization is said to have distributed about 250 heroin packets each week, with the estimated street value being $22,500. Those arrested range in age from 26 to 49.
Even if those facing drug charges are guilty in the court of public opinion, this does not mean they are guilty in the eyes of Lady Justice. Anyone charged with a drug crime is innocent until and unless his or her guilt can be proved in a court of law. Prosecutors must prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt before any conviction can take place in New Jersey. In such a situation, a criminal defense attorney will strive to make sure that the client's rights are protected and that the most personally favorable outcome is ultimately achieved.
Source: Middletown, NJ, Patch, "29 Gang Members Arrested In Major New Jersey Drug Bust", Tom Davis, Sept. 13, 2017