With all of the media coverage surrounding heroin and prescription opioid abuse in New Jersey, it’s worth pointing out that marijuana is still by far the most used and abused illicit drug in the state. A recent seizure of 110 pounds of marijuana by Jersey City police from a rental truck bound for Long Island in early December is proof of the drug’s prevalence throughout the state and nation.
Michael Turchiano, 41, and Joseph Turciano, 75, son and father, were arrested on December 7 after arriving to pick up a package of marijuana and attempting to drive it away in a rental truck. Police immediately pulled the truck over and seized the drugs worth $1 million. Jersey City police were alerted by another law enforcement agency that a large amount of marijuana was being shipped from Los Angeles to Long Island and that a transfer was occurring in Jersey City.
The freight was identified and intercepted at a Tonnelle Avenue shipping company. Police then got search warrants and set up surveillance to catch the father and son duo in the act of transporting the drugs. Each of the men were charged with conspiracy, drug possession and possession with intent to distribute.
Punishment for Marijuana Drug Crimes in Jersey City, NJ
Possessing any amount of marijuana is illegal in New Jersey and punishable by incarceration and fines. In most cases, simple possession is a disorderly persons offense that is subject to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The penalties are influenced by any prior convictions.
However, possessing the 110 pounds of marijuana seized in Jersey City is a felony offense and a first-degree crime. According to state law, offenders possessing over 50 grams of marijuana are subject to up to 18-months in jail and a $25,000 fine. When the intent to distribute is added, offenders face up to 20 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. If convicted, the possession with intent to distribute charge will trigger mandatory minimum sentencing.
Additionally, because of the amount of marijuana involved in this case, it’s also not out of the question that Michael and Joseph Turciano, or people they are working with, are eventually charged with trafficking, which carries a minimum 25-year prison sentence before parole eligibility and/or a $500,000 fine.
Contact a Qualified and Experienced NJ Drug Crime Attorney
If you or someone you love has been charged with a marijuana crime in New Jersey, be it possession or possession with intent to distribute, you must seek legal representation immediately. You likely have legal options you hadn’t considered, and you don’t want to face these charges without having explored every possible legal option for the best outcome.
Frank T. Luciano is a highly successful and experienced drug crime attorney operating in multiple areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Elmwood Park and Fort Lee. In nearly 40 years as a criminal defense attorney, there is almost no legal situation that Mr. Luciano has not seen and successfully navigated his clients through.
Give yourself the best chance at a positive legal outcome by contacting Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey law office immediately at 973-471-0004.