6 Reasons for Drug Dealers, Organized Crime Syndicates and the Cartel to Celebrate Today in New Jersey

They call it “criminal justice reform”. Drug lords and organized crime members who manufacture and distribute illegal drugs that have lead to the opioid pandemic in New Jersey are calling it great news.

Related: Drug dealers rejoice as NJ AG orders prosecutors to ignore state’s mandatory prison terms of non-violent drug offenders

After today, thanks to a directive issued by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, under the direction of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, criminals no longer need to worry about the fear of mandatory prison sentences for drug dealing offenses or even using children to commit those offenses.

Grewal today issued a directive to state prosecutors to ignore 2C:35 of the New Jersey legal code and to stop requesting judges to give the state’s drug lords mandatory prison terms.


New Jersey could soon became the sanctuary state for drug lords to set up manufacturing and distribution networks.

Here are the 6 criminal drug offenses gang members, drug lords, the cartel and crime syndicates no longer have to worry about in New Jersey:

Drug lords no longer have to worry about life in prison

2C:35-3 Leader of narcotics trafficking network – A person is a leader of a narcotics trafficking network if he conspires with two or more other persons in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, bring into or transport in this State methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, gamma hydroxybutyrate, flunitrazepam or any controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedule I or II, or any controlled substance analog thereof as a financier, or as an organizer, supervisor or manager of at least one other person.

Leader of narcotics trafficking network is a crime of the first degree and upon conviction thereof, except as may be provided by N.J.S.2C:35-12, a person shall be sentenced to an ordinary term of life imprisonment during which the person must serve 25 years before being eligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may also impose a fine not to exceed $750,000.00 or five times the street value of the controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog, gamma hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam involved, whichever is greater.

Operating a meth lab in NJ? No problem.

2C:35-4 Maintaining or operating a facility producing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS): Want to be like Breaking Bad? You can now. There’s no more mandatory minimum for operating a meth lab in New Jersey because it’s a non-violent drug crime.

Under N.J.S.A § 2C:35-4 any person who knowingly maintains or operates any premises, place or facility used for the manufacture of methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, gamma hydroxybutyrate, flunitrazepam, marijuana in an amount greater than five pounds or ten plants is guilty of monitoring or operating a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) facility. Violation of N.J.S.A § 2C:35-4 is a crime of the first degree which carries a term of imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $750,000.00 or five times the street value of all controlled dangerous substances.

Being found guilty as the operator of a controlled dangerous substance facility is a First-Degree Crime, resulting in 10 – 20 years of prison, a minimum period of parole ineligibility, and a court imposed fine ranging anywhere between $750,000 or five times the value of controlled dangerous substance facility.

Neighborhood drug dealers will be back on the streets before dinner in NJ

2C:35-5 Manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing CDS: Drug dealers have no more fear of setting up shop in your neighborhood because criminal justice reform will have them back on the streets in hours and they will no longer face mandatory jail terms.

Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c. 226 ( C.24:21-1 et seq. ), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely: To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog;  or To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3 , a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed.

Get those children back on the streets of New Jersey slinging rock

2C:35-6 Employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme: When New Jersey legislators enacted this law, drug dealers were using high school students and teenagers to deal the drugs because they would be treated as juveniles. Now, dealers can rest easy knowing that their army of teenagers slinging their drugs in schools and in your neighborhood have no fear of a mandatory minimum sentence.

Any person being at least 18 years of age who knowingly uses, solicits, directs, hires or employs a person 17 years of age or younger to violate N.J.S.2C:35-4 or subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-5, is guilty of a crime of the second degree and shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or five years, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may also impose a fine not to exceed $500,000.00 or five times the street value of the controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog involved, whichever is greater.

It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this section that the actor mistakenly believed that the person which the actor used, solicited, directed, hired or employed was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable.

Drug Free School Zones don’t mean munch anymore

2C:35-7 Distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute CDS within 1,000 feet of a school: Now that there’s no mandatory minimum for having teens deal drugs in school, there’s a double benefit of no mandatory minimum for the actual act of dealing drugs in schools zones.

 Any person who violates subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-5 by distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog while on or within 200 feet of any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or [within 1,000 feet of such school property or a school bus, or while] on any school bus, is guilty of a crime of the [third] second degree [and shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced by the court to a term of imprisonment. Where] , except that it is a crime of the third degree if the violation involves less than one ounce of marijuana[, the term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or one year, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.  In all other cases, the term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $150,000.00 may also be imposed upon any conviction for a violation of this section.

Selling drugs to children no longer carries a minimum sentence.

2C:35-8 Distribution of CDS to persons under age 18: You can now sell drugs to teenagers and you might get a good lawyer and get a light sentence.

Distribution to Persons Under Age 18; Enhanced Punishment. Upon the application of the prosecuting attorney, any person being at least 18 years of age who has been convicted for violating subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:35-5 or section 1 of P.L. 1987, c. 101 (C. 2C:35-7) by distributing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog to a pregnant female or a person 17 years of age or younger shall, except as provided in N.J.S. 2C:35-12, be subject to twice the term of imprisonment, fine and penalty, including twice the term of parole ineligibility, if any, authorized or required to be imposed by subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:35-5 or section 1 of P.L. 1987, c. 101 (C. 2C:35-7) or any other provision of this title.  In addition, the presumption of non-imprisonment for certain offenders set forth in subsection e. of N.J.S. 2C:44-1 shall not apply to any person subject to enhanced punishment pursuant to this section.

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