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Leader of a Controlled Dangerous Substance ("CDS") Trafficking Network

Kingpin Charges in New Jersey

One of the most serious CDS offenses an individual may be charged or indicted on in NJ is referred to as a drug kingpin charge. This offense involves allegations that an individual is the leader of an organization that is engaged in drug trafficking. The penalties associated with an indictment as a kingpin are extreme and even involve life imprisonment. There is little question that charges of this nature require the knowledge, experience and skill of a savy criminal lawyer. The attorneys on our defense team possess this level of expertise and can call upon over 100 years of collective experience, including years as prosecutors, to insure that the ramifications of a charge for leading a narcotic operation are minimized. One of our lawyers is always available 24/7 to assist clients and we encourage you to contact us if you require assistance. The following information is intended to help you understand the offense of leader of a drug trafficking network and you are also invited to contact us at 1-877-450-8301 if you are seeking representation or would like to speak to an attorney immediately.

Law & Penalties: Leader of a Network

NJ has adopted a specific statute that applies whenever an individual is alleged to be the leader or kingpin of a drug distribution enterprise. The statute governing a CDS operation of this nature is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3 and its general terms are as follows.

  • Elements of the Law. The prosecutor must prove six (6) elements to obtain a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3 including: (1) the substance involved is one prohibited under the statute; (2) there existed a scheme or course of conduct to manufacture, sell or distribute the substance; (3) the activity was "for profit"; (4) the defendant acted purposely to promote or facilitate the scheme or course of conduct; (5) the defendant had an agreement with at least one other individual involved to commit, attempt or solicit the commission of, that crime, or he would aid another person or persons in planning, committing, attempting, or soliciting the crime; and (6) the defendant organized, supervised, financed or managed the conspiracy.
  • Organizers, Supervisors, Financiers & Managers. The law not only applies to the man at the top of an alleged operation but also anyone who organized the enterprise or supervises, finances or manages the network. An individual may only deemed to manage or supervise, however, if he occupies a position of supervisory power or control over others in the network.
  • Engaged in Operation for Profit. The scheme must have intended to yield a profit in order for a violation to occur.
  • Conspiracy in Place. An individual may only be a leader where at least two or more persons conspired, in other words, had an agreement with the "kingpin" to undertake efforts to promote the network.
  • Prohibited Substances. The law applies to the manufacture, distribution or sale of methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, gamma hydroxybutyrate, flunitrazepam, or any other Schedule I or Schedule II CDS or analog thereof.
  • Grading of Offense. A violation of this law is a crime of the First Degree except that the term of imprisonment is not 10-20 years but rather life.
  • Parole Ineligibity. An individual is not eligible for parole until at least twenty five (25) years of imprisonment have been served. This mandatory minimum term of imprisonment may, however, be waived under certain circumstances.

If you are still looking to retain an attorney, the lawyers at our firm are ready to help you. Don't make the mistake of waiting until it is too late to begin the defense of a kingpin charge. Our attorneys are available immediately to defend you.

Monmouth County Office, 157 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ
Middlesex County Office, 75 Paterson Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
Union County Office, 123 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ
Morris County Offices, 55 Madison Avenue, Morristown & 2001 Route 46, Parsippany, NJ
Ocean County Office, 29 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ
Hudson County Officer, 580 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ


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The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent New Jersey adult and juvenile clients from offices in Shrewsbury, Cranford, Toms River, Jersey City and New Brunswick. We provide prompt and convenient client service to people in such communities as Newark, Plainfield, Freehold, Eatontown, East Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Westfield, Clark, Rahway, Piscataway, Sayreville, Elizabeth, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Jackson, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Edison, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Linden, Belmar, Eatontown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Ocean, Sea Bright, Hoboken, Weehawken, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall, Brick, Dover, Jackson, and other locations in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.

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