Criminal Sentencing for alleged NJ Drug Kingpin
- March 30, 2012
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In State v. Ellis, the New Jersey Court considered the elements required for a first degree kingpin charge and found that enlisting 2 separate runners on 2 separate occasions to sell drugs to undercover officers did not make defendant a kingpin under the legislature’s intent that the stature be applied narrowly and that it not pertain to every drug sale operation.
The elements for conviction under the kingpin statute are (1) defendant conspired with at least 2 others; (2) defendant exercised control over the others; (3) the conspiracy was for profit; and (4) the conspiracy included a scheme or operation of CDS distribution.
The existence of a drug-trafficking network must be proven by the prosecution by establishing that at least 3 individuals were working together and all 3 were aware that they were working together. The kingpin element must be proven by a showing that one of the 3 individuals exercised control over the other 2 individuals in the form of a “leadership” role.
Merely providing drugs to runners and instructing them as to when and where to distribute them is not evidence of control, but rather a simple transaction.
Remember that it is always the prosecution’s burden to prove the elements of a crime charged. If you are charged with a crime you should immediately obtain an experienced criminal attorney to protect your rights. For more information on protecting your rights if charged with possession of CDS, theft, burglary, assault, domestic violence or other crimes in NJ visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com