Last week, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office filed a civil action seeking forfeiture of property owned by a Rockaway Township man charged with operating a drug-production facility out of his home.
On May 14, Darren Kent called 911 to report that his wife had died. When police arrived at Mr. Kent’s home, they found 30 plants and marijuana-growing equipment in the basement. A Morris County Assistant Prosecutor later estimated that the plants could have yielded $100,000.00 in sales.
Police also found three (3) firearms on the premises.
Mr. Kent now faces criminal charges in Morris County Superior Court, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The charge of intent to distribute marijuana is laid out in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, which prohibits a person from distributing a controlled dangerous substance such as marijuana. Considering the large amount of marijuana found in Mr. Kent’s home, he could be looking at a first degree felony charge, subjecting him to a penalty of up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Additionally, in New Jersey, prosecutors can seek forfeiture of any property used as an “instrument of crime.” As a result of Mr. Kent’s “marijuana cultivation efforts,” he could now lose his home, money, trucks, weapons, and marijuana-growing equipment.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Prosecutor Seeks to Forfeit Accused Pot Grower’s Home, Trucks, Guns and Money.“