A former restaurant owner in Hopatcong, NJ has been sentenced to five years in state prison for distributing heroin in Morris and Sussex counties.
Last October, the defendant pleaded guilty to second degree conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute. The defendant was one of seven people charged in the case. Five of the defendants have already pleaded guilty.
According to prosecutors, the defendant admitted that he sold 1,900 folds of heroin. Prosecutors also said that the defendant had 500 fold of heroin in his possession when he was arrested.
At the time of entering his guilty plea, the defendant and prosecutors agreed to a five-year sentence – an agreement the defendant later tried to renege on.
The defendant used to own the River Styx Grill in Hopatcong, but he has been forced to sell it for just “a third of what it’s worth” in order to make ends meet since his arrest.
At sentencing in the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, the 56-year-old defendant asserted that he was selling drugs because he was trying to “help” a 30-year-old addict get clean. However, his claims of having noble intentions fell on deaf ears in the courtroom. Although the defendant’s attorney requested a lighter sentence from the court, the superior court judge imposed the agreed-upon sentence and admonished the defendant for taking it upon himself “to insert himself into the drug trade.”
The defendant will spend at least the next 20 months in NJ State Prison, at which point he will be eligible for parole. However, his attorney said that he intends to file for admission into the Intensive Supervision Program. If he is admitted, he could be eligible for release at an earlier date.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Hopatcong Restaurateur Gets 5 Years in Heroin after Attorney Explains His Motivations.“
If you are facing drug charges in New Jersey, contact Morristown NJ criminal defense attorney Travis J. Tormey for a free consultation about your case.