Following the 2014 arrest of Elizabeth residents William Camino, 38, and second-in-command Yakin Bryant, 37, for charges related to the two heroin processing mills discovered and raided by Union County police and federal officials, the defendants pleaded guilty to a variety of drug-related charges on Monday, August 14th.
The Heroin Distribution Bust of 2014, Union County Drug Crime Attorney
At the time of the initial arrest, Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said that it was “..a historic seizure of heroin. This is our largest seizure of heroin in the last decade in Union County”.
After a month-long investigation conducted by Linden police, Union County police, and federal agents, two separate houses were raided resulting in over 5.5 kilograms of heroin seized, worth an estimated street value of $3 million dollars. The raids resulted in the arrest of eight different people, including the two individuals mentioned above who were the alleged ring-leaders of this heroin distribution ring.
Union County Prosecutor Park further noted that the two homes raided, 300 Richford Terrace, Linden, and 2100 Morris Avenue, Union Township, were located in residential and unsuspecting neighborhoods. In fact, the Morris Avenue location was only one block from the Union Township Police Department and the Burnet Middle School.
Police believe that these two heroin packing mills distributed to locations across 5 different New Jersey counties, including Union County, as well as to areas in Pennsylvania as well. According to Christopher Jakim, the then assistant supervising agent in charge of the NJ DEA, the shutting down of this heroin distribution operation would result in “reducing hundreds of thousands of heroin hits from reaching the streets”.
The Heroin Distribution Convictions, Linden Criminal Defense Lawyer
Both of the heroin ring distribution leaders, Camino and Bryant, plead guilty to charges of first-degree racketeering and first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute last Monday. Their sentencing hearing is due to take place on October 20th before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch, but Union County Prosecutor Grace Park has stated that the prosecutor’s office will recommend that Camino and Bryant receive 15 and 12 years in state prison respectively, and that they will be expected to serve 85% of those terms before being allowed to seek parole.
It has been stated that 11 other defendants were charged with drug crimes and heroin possession and distribution charges, but details of their convictions were not yet released. However, as there is the presumption of incarceration for any heroin possession with intent to distribute conviction higher than a third degree charge, these defendants are most likely facing anywhere between 5-20 year prison sentences.
Contact a Union County Drug Crime Attorney Today
With the statewide effort to crackdown on heroin possession, consumption, and distribution, New Jersey prosecutors are taking a hard line on anyone charged with heroin crimes. This can make it extremely difficult to reach any kind of plea bargain, even for third degree offenses, and has the potential to result in a great deal of minor offenders being sent to jail for extended periods of time.
However, The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper is prepared to defend anyone charged with drug-related offenses, including heroin possession and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. Our firm has extensive experience helping clients across Elizabeth, Union Township, Linden, Westfield, and the greater Union County area to defend themselves from criminal charges of all kinds. Whether you were wrongly arrested and need legal representation, or are seeking to reduce the charges filed against you, we are prepared to thoroughly investigate your case, negotiate with Union County prosecutors, and help ensure that your rights and legal future are properly protected.
To speak with our firm today regarding your criminal charges including marijuana charges, heroin charges, or cocaine charges, and your legal options and rights in these matters, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.