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2C:35-3: NJ Law for Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network

Language of the New Jersey Kingpin Law

Although we have taken the liberty of summarizing the offense of leader of a trafficking operation elsewhere on the site, there are those that may want to review the full text of the associated law. Accordingly, we have provided the law and the legislative comments that appear following the statute. This information is as follows:

2C:35-3. Leader of narcotics trafficking network

As used in this section:
"Financier" means a person who, with the intent to derive a profit, provides money or credit or other thing of value in order to purchase a controlled dangerous substance or an immediate precursor, or otherwise to finance the operations of a drug 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.

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, a conviction of leader of narcotics trafficking network shall not merge with the conviction for any offense which is the object of the conspiracy. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7; nor shall this section be construed in any way to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2, or any prosecution or conviction under N.J.S.2C:35-4 ( maintaining or operating a CDS production facility), N.J.S.2C:35-5 (manufacturing, distributing or dispensing), N.J.S.2C:35-6 (employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme), N.J.S.2C:35-9 (strict liability for drug induced death), N.J.S.2C:41-2 (racketeering activities) or subsection g. of N.J.S.2C:5-2 (leader of organized crime).

It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this section for the State to prove that any intended profit was actually realized. The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to the number of persons involved in the scheme or course of conduct, the actor's net worth and his expenditures in relation to his legitimate sources of income, the amount or purity of the specified controlled dangerous substance , controlled substance analog, gamma hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam involved, or the amount of cash or currency involved.
It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section that such controlled dangerous substance , controlled substance analog, gamma hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam was brought into or transported in this State solely for ultimate distribution or dispensing in another jurisdiction; nor shall it be a defense that any profit was intended to be made in another jurisdiction.
It shall not be a defense that the defendant was subject to the supervision or management of another, nor that another person or persons were also leaders of the narcotics trafficking network.
CREDIT(S)

L.1987, c. 106, § 1, operative July 9, 1987. Amended by L.1997, c. 181, § 1, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; L.1997, c. 343, § 1, eff. Jan. 12, 1998; L.1999, c. 133, § 1, eff. June 25, 1999.

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
2005 Main Volume
Assembly, No. 704--L.1997, c. 181
The Senate Judiciary Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 704.
Title 2C, "The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," was enacted in 1978. As part of that enactment, the maximum amount for fines that ordinarily may be imposed for the various degrees of crime were established in N.J.S.2C:43-3. Since 1978, these amounts have not been raised. Presently, for crimes of the first or second degree, a fine of up to $100,000.00 may be imposed and for crimes of the third or fourth degree a fine of up to $7,500.00 may be imposed. The bill would raise the maximum fines for crimes under Title 2C as follows: for crimes of the first degree, up to $200,000.00; for crimes of the second degree, up to $150,000.00; for crimes of the third degree, up to $15,000.00 and for crimes of the fourth degree, up to $10,000.00.
Chapter 35 of Title 2C deals with drug offenses and chapter 37 of 2C deals with gambling offenses. In recognition of the monetary gains which often motivate these types of crimes, the fines set forth in Chapters 35 and 37 have traditionally been set at considerably higher levels than generally provided under N.J.S.2C:43-3. The bill would also raise these fines.


SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
2005 Main Volume
Assembly, No. 694--L.1997, c. 343
The Senate Judiciary Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 694 (1R).
This bill would amend N.J.S.A.2C:35-3, the "drug kingpin" statute to clarify the nature of the activities that will result in a person being prosecuted as a "leader of a narcotics trafficking network." As amended by the committee, a person would be considered a leader of a narcotics trafficking network if he conspires with two or more other persons in a scheme to sell or manufacturer illegal drugs as a financier, or as an organizer, supervisor or manager of at least one other person.
The amendments delete the definitions of the terms "supervisor," "manager" and "upper echelon member" included in the bill as passed by the Assembly. The definition of the term "financier" would be modified to provide that: "financier" means a person who, with intent to derive a profit, provides money or credit or other thing of value in order to purchase a CDS or an immediate precursor or otherwise finance the operations of a drug trafficking network.
In addition, the amendments add language indicating that it shall not be a defense to a charge of being a leader of a narcotics trafficking network that the defendant was subject to the supervision or management of another nor that another person or persons were also leaders of the narcotics trafficking network.
The amendments also conform the provisions of the bill with those of recently enacted P.L.1997, c.181 which raised the maximum fine for the crime of being a leader of a narcotics trafficking network.

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