Drug Kingpin gets Life Sentence in Ocean County

LIFE SENTENCE red stamp text

Have you ever heard the term “drug kingpin?” Under the law, a drug kingpin is any person who controls a network of others involved in the drug trade. Usually, a drug kingpin is only prosecuted after lengthy investigation and potential undercover work in their organization. Investigators and prosecutors usually try to “flip” people who become informants against a drug kingpin. New Jersey takes drug trafficking so seriously that it enacted a unique law against leading a drug trafficking network, which results in the most severe charges against alleged drug kingpins. One such man was recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison after these charges were brought against him in Ocean County. Being charged with being the leader of a drug trafficking network is essentially the worst possible situation you can be in when it comes to the New Jersey criminal justice system, aside from murder and a few others. There is little question that charges of this nature require the knowledge, experience and skill of a savvy criminal defense lawyer. If you are under investigation or have been charged with a drug kingpin offense in Ocean County, contact our dedicated criminal defense attorneys at 848-238-2100 today. You need someone protecting your rights and your interests immediately, and we have the skill you want on your side.

What Happens if Convicted of a Drug Kingpin Offense?

If you are accused of distributing large quantities of drugs in Ocean County, there are a variety of drug charges you might face. First and foremost, it is illegal to possess a controlled dangerous substance like cocaine or heroin in New Jersey. You can be convicted of a third-degree indictable offense if you possess even a small amount of heroin or cocaine in New Jersey. This conviction can result in three to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $35,000, depending on the circumstances.

If you are caught with wax folds, baggies, or other packaging and distribution paraphernalia, you could face charges for possession with intent to distribute cocaine or heroin, an even more serious crime. Charges for possession with intent to distribute cocaine or heroin can be first or second degree crimes, carrying fines of up to $150,000 and $500,000, and ten and twenty years in prison, respectively.

Finally, if police determine that you are conspiring to distribute drugs or even running a drug distribution network yourself, you can face additional and even more serious charges. Charges for leading a narcotics trafficking network can result in up to a life sentence in New Jersey. A life sentence is the common course of action against convicted drug traffickers in New Jersey, with 25 years before you come up for parole.

Drug Kingpin Case in Ocean County

According a statement issued by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the state has succeeded in securing a life prison sentence for a man they have called a “drug kingpin.” The sentence was handed down recently in Ocean County Superior Court. News reports indicate that the convicted drug dealer was the subject of a far-reaching investigation named “Operation Baked Zito,” in reference to the defendant’s nickname “Z” or “Zito.” Law enforcement wiretapped phones and conducted extensive investigation and surveillance as part of this operation. Operation Baked Zito led to charges against 25 people, one of whom was the alleged drug kingpin. At the time of his arrest, the man allegedly had over 1,100 wax “folds” containing heroin in his possession, plus a bag containing 26 grams of cocaine.

The jury, comprised of Ocean County residents, found the defendant guilty of leading a narcotics trafficking network, possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute. The man was sentenced for his role in leading a drug trafficking network, with a life-long prison term imposed, of which he must serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Drug Kingpin Investigation & Defense Help Ocean County NJ

If you need assistance with a drug investigation that you’re currently facing or you have been charged with a drug trafficking or drug kingpin offense, our highly experienced Ocean County criminal defense lawyers are here to fight for you. Contact us at our local office anytime, day or night, at 848-238-2100 to get help with your drug case. We concentrate solely on defending clients facing criminal charges so that we are best prepared to challenge the case against you.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.