A 35-year-old Dover man and a 35-year-old Linden man each received state prison sentences for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug operation. The men had been arrested in June 2012 as part of a major investigation into a possible drug ring. According to authorities, the drug ring was distributing heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs throughout Morris County, Essex County, Union County, and Warren County.
Both defendants reached plea bargains in September. As part of their plea bargains, the Dover defendant pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose; the Linden defendant pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
The suspects recently appeared in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ to receive their sentences.
The Dover defendant was sentenced to 11 years in NJ State Prison. He will be required to serve at least 5 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
The Linden defendant was sentenced to 8 years in NJ State Prison. He will be required to serve a minimum of three-and-a-half years before becoming eligible for release on parole.
The Dover defendant had also been accused of shooting two men in Morristown in 2011. However, as part of the plea bargain, he avoided conviction on charges of attempted murder.
The sentencing hearing was not without controversy. A heated argument broke out between the prosecutor and the Dover defendant’s attorney when the prosecutor attempted to cite the defendant’s lengthy criminal record, which reportedly includes convictions for aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and eluding police.
The prosecutor also repeated the allegation that the Dover defendant committed the shooting in Morristown in 2011. This prompted the defendant to tell the court, “I didn’t shoot anybody.”
To learn more about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Accused Drug Ring Leader Denies Role in Morristown Shooting as He and Co-Defendant Are Sentenced.”