After consulting with a drug offense attorney, some defendants may choose to plead guilty if they are given a good plea deal. Granted, no criminal defense attorney can force a defendant to take a plea deal and the decision to plead guilty must lie with the defendant, but if it is highly likely that a defendant would face a considerably harsher sentence if he or she is convicted after a full trial, it may be more beneficial to take a guilty plea.
That is likely what influenced a 29-year-old man who recently pled guilty to racketeering charges in connection with a narcotics ring. After accepting a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend that the young man be sentenced to 15 years in prison. While that may seem like a long time, it is most likely shorter than what he would have received if he had been convicted of the numerous charges he was facing. He and 13 others had been arrested as part of a large narcotics sting in South Camden.
According to the New Jersey Attorney General, the 29 year old was a leader within a local gang and responsible for the distribution of cocaine, PCP and heroin. The attorney general called his gang a “major drug network,” which, if true, could have ended with a much longer prison sentence if the young man had gone to trial. The 15-year sentence is not guaranteed, and the 29 year old will face sentencing in April.
Law enforcement arrested the 14 individuals in November 2011 after a concentrated effort to round up people suspected of drug trafficking. Utilizing law enforcement resources across the state and even police from Philadelphia, the state Division of Criminal Justice made sure that it was going to be able to arrest, indict and try as many people believed to be connected to drugs as possible.
Source: South Jersey Times, “Reputed Bloods ‘general’ admits to leading Camden drug ring dealing PCP, cocaine, heroin,” Joe Green, Feb. 4, 2013
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