Maintaining or Operating a Drug Production Facility Under New Jersey’s Drug Statute
A person that maintains or operates a drug production facility (Drug Production Facility Offense) is guilty of a first degree crime. N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-4. If you are convicted of a Drug Production Facility Offense, your term of imprisonment can be up to 20 years. In addition, the court may impose a parole disqualification of between one-third and one-half of the sentence to be imposed. It may also impose a fine of $750,000 dollars or five times the street value of the drugs you manufactured or stored at the facility, whichever is greater.
You can be convicted of a Drug Production Facility Offense if you package or repackage a CDS like heroin, cocaine or label or relabel a container for those types of drugs, at a site on at least one prior occasion, under circumstances where that activity is not associated with your own use. A Production Facility Offense may include a home, an apartment, an office, or any other premises, place or facility.
While the severity of the penalties involving a Drug Production Facility Offense conviction may lead you to believe that the offense is limited to “drug kitchens” or places where drugs are manufactured, the practical application of this section of the Drug Statute is otherwise. In 1996, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a conviction of a Drug Facility Offense in an extremely marginal case, where the sentence imposed was a 60-year term of imprisonment with a 30-year parole disqualifier. In that case, the accused used a friend’s apartment to cut and repackage cocaine. He had used this apartment in the past to perform these same tasks. On the date of the arrest, the accused had been cutting and repackaging a mere 3.83 grams of cocaine. In another case, a conviction resulted under this section of the drug statute, where a defendant was “re-rocking” approximately one-half ounce of cocaine in the basement of an apartment where he was using a rather primitive process that included a mixing bowl, a spoon, pieces of aluminum and a number of small plastic bags.
Given the expansive nature of the court’s application of this statute, it would seem that if you purchase an eight-ball of cocaine, return to your apartment to dilute the cocaine, repackage it and give or share some of it with a best friend, you can be convicted of a Drug Production Facility Offense, if you performed the same process in your apartment on an earlier date.
Prosecutions of a Drug Production Facility Offense is a real serious matter and it is imperative that you immediately hire the best criminal lawyer you can find. The best possible defenses for cases of this type involving heroin and cocaine are consistently recognized by an experienced criminal lawyer. Frank T. Luciano has been working in the criminal justice system for over 40 years and has represented hundreds and hundreds of people in drug related cases.